ACE consortium has invested around $700 million in the construction of the cable, which includes $250 million from the Orange Group.
ACE consortium will expand submarine cable system to South Africa: a 5,000km extension from island of Sao Tome & Principe, in the Gulf of Guinea, to South Africa in the second phase of the project.
When Phase II is completed, ACE will cover a distance of 17,000 km and will allow up to 25 countries to access high speed internet. At present, it covers 18 countries with nearly 12,000 km of fiber optic cable.
These 18 nations include France, Portugal, the Canary Islands (Spain), Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome & Príncipe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, are connected via a terrestrial extension.
ACE uses broadband fiber optic technology wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to increase the capacity as and when needed without investing in additional submarine work. ACE will increase the overall capacity to 12.8 Tbps using 100-Gbps technology.
ACE consortium is led by Orange and composed of 19 operators, namely: Benin ACE GIE, Cable Consortium of Liberia, Canalink, Cote d’Ivoire Telecom, Dolphin Telecom, Guineenne de la Large Bande, Gambia Submarine Cable Company, International Mauritania Telecom, MEO, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB), Sonatel, SPIN (Gabon) and STP Cabo.
Alcatel-Lucent to work on ACE project
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks will be assisting ACE to roll out Phase II of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system.
Alcatel-Lucent will be supplying 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) submarine technology. ACE system will deliver an overall design capacity of 12.8 Tbit/s, significantly speeding up delivery of broadband services and content.