Orange and members of ACE consortium complete laying 12,000 km of optical fiber

Telecom Lead Africa: France Telecom-Orange and other members of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) consortium have completed laying 12,000 km of optical fiber.

The ACE submarine cable, which is now operational for the first phase linking France and Sao Tomé & Principe, will provide connectivity to broadband internet in Africa and will extra capacity to existing international networks.

The 12,000 km of optical fiber will connect 13 countries from France to Sao Tomé & Principe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, will also be connected through extensions to the terrestrial network. Finally, Nigeria will also be connected to the cable in 2013.

Seven countries – The Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe and Sierra Leone – will benefit from a direct connection to a submarine cable enabling them to enjoy optimal access to the international broadband network.

The ACE cable will also contribute to the development of multinational companies present in Africa by improving connectivity between the local subsidiaries and their global networks. This will allow them to develop added-value services in areas such as Unified Communications, IT and customer relations.

The commissioning of this first phase marks the beginning of the deployment plan for the ACE submarine cable, which will ultimately run for a total of approximately 17,000 km. Seven additional countries will be connected in the second phase.

France Telecom-Orange, together with its subsidiaries Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Orange Cameroon, Orange Mali, Orange Niger and Sonatel, have combined forces with other major partners to form an international consortium.

With WDM, cable capacity can be increased without additional submarine work. Overall capacity will be boosted to 5.12 Tbps using the new 40 Gbps technology which supports ultra-high speed broadband networks.

The cost of cable construction project is around $700 million for the consortium, with around $250 million financed by the Group and its subsidiaries.

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