By Masahudu Kunateh:
Accra — THE Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has reported an upsurge in the incidents of fibre cuts, a setback that is costing local mobile network operators millions of Cedi.
According to the chamber, 1 370 fibre cuts were recorded nationwide within the six-month period beginning January, which appears set to overtake the incidents recorded in the past three years.
There were at least 2 302 fibre optic cable cuts experienced by the telecom service providers in 2013, a rise from 1 605 and 480 cuts in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
The Research and Communications Manager at the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Derek Barnabas Laryea said repairing the cuts was costly.
"It costs an average of GHC17 253 to repair a cut," he said.
He therefore explained that millions of Cedis which would have gone to networks expansion or upgrading would rather spend on fibre optic cable repairs.
MTN, Vodafone, Glo, and Expresso have their fibre optic back bones, while Airtel and Tigo use privately owned fibre owned by MainOne.
A number of these cuts have been traced to road construction, excavation by utility companies, outdoor sign companies, theft and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) approved activities.
Fibre cables are cables containing one or more optical fibres that are used to carry light.
The optical fibre elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed.
Different types of cable are used for different applications, for example long distance telecom, or providing a high-speed data connection between different parts of a building.
Thousand of channels can be multiplexed together over one strand of fibre.
The fibre optic network has formed a very important part of the transmission network of every modern telecommunication service provider.
Avor are on financial, telecom network, and subscribers.
MTN Ghana officials said the prevalence of fibre cuts was having an impact on service provision.
"The existence and maintenance of the fibre network is a key factor in the ability of MTN to continue providing quality service to all customers - individual and corporate bodies," said a Field Services Manager, Bernard Avor.