FRENCH telecom giant Orange, together with the other members of the ACE consortium, has launched phase II of the ACE submarine cable system to expand broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa.
For this phase II, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system is being extended to South Africa – a 5,000km extension from island of Sao Tomé & Principe, in the Gulf of Guinea, to South Africa that will further strengthen the role ACE is playing in critical infrastructure development in the continent.
Today, nearly 12,000km of fibre optic cable are already used to connect 18 countries – France, Portugal, the Canary Islands (Spain), Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé & Príncipe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, are connected via a terrestrial extension.
When phase II is completed, ACE will cover a total distance of 17,000km and will allow up to 25 countries to access high speed internet.
ACE uses the most advanced high-speed broadband fibre optic technology – wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) – that allows the capacity to be increased as and when it is needed without additional submarine work being required. Overall capacity will be boosted to 12.8 terabits per second (Tbps) using 100-Gbps technology, which supports high-capacity networks.
The consortium has invested about $700 million in the construction of the cable, which includes $250 million from the Orange Group and its subsidiaries.
Through these major investments Orange confirms its commitment to provide widespread access to the internet in the close to twenty African countries where the Group is present and to continue to improve the quality of its network service.