Update 2: Undersea Cable Disruptions Affect Data Services


Update 2: Undersea Cable Disruptions Affect Data Services

14th March, 2024: Further to an earlier release from the National Communications Authority (NCA) on the disruption to data services as a result of undersea cable cuts, the Authority wishes to update the public as follows:

1. The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) notified the NCA of undersea cable disruptions which have affected both mobile and fixed data communication services in the country.

2. The disruptions affected all the current active undersea cables namely;

  • ACE – 90% capacity lost
  • MainOne – about 90% capacity lost
  • SAT-3 -100% capacity lost
  • WACS – 90% capacity lost

3. The NCA commenced investigations by contacting all the Submarine Cable Service Providers and MNOs to understand the nature and extent of the disruption.  

4. The NCA’s investigations revealed that the disruption, which has affected international traffic into the country, occurred in multiple places; for ACE, MainOne, and WACS the incident was in Abidjan while for SAT-3 the incident was in Portugal.

Impact of the Outage

As a result of the multiple undersea cable cuts, Ghana lost 1,596.6 Gbps data capacity.

Update from MNOs

As a result of the outage, the MNOs have since implemented their service continuity plans as follows:

  1. MTN – Local Caches (like content from the GIX and other local in-house Caches) are being used to provide minimal data services.
  2. Telecel – Telecel has currently activated 20Gbps on ACE and almost completed activation of an additional 30Gbps to bring the total capacity to 50Gbps. ACE has since directed the traffic to Lagos through WACS to Europe.
  3. AT – AT indicated that the current capacity of 19.5Gbps available is sufficient to provide service for their customers

It is important to note that the outage is not peculiar to Ghana. Countries such as Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon are having same experiences. NCA is still monitoring the situation and working with all stakeholders and service providers to ensure restoration of full services. The NCA will update the public on any future developments.