First phase of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system has now increased to include 17 countries in Africa, and Cameroon has recently become a member after signing the construction and maintenance agreement (CMA)
After the initial CMA and supply contract with Alcatel Lucent in June 2010, ACE put the first phase of the cable into operation in 14 countries in December 2012 in The Gambia. Focussing on Africa’s west coast, it now stretches from Penmarch in France to Sao Tome and Principe. The three new countries that have been added to the network are Benin, Nigeria and Canary Islands. The total population connected by ACE has consequently gone up by 200mn people. Additionally, Cameroon has signed the CMA on 11 June 2015.
ACE members from 23 African countries have reinforced their commitment to address the connectivity challenges facing Africa by embarking on the second phase of the project extending to South Africa. Construction of the second phase of the ACE cable has been successfully launched to extend from Sao Tome and Principe to Cape Town, South Africa.
Upon completion, the 17,000 km long submarine cable system will provide extensive access to countries along the Atlantic coast of Africa including connectivity to some landlocked countries. The system will include a state-of-the-art submarine cable equipped with 100 Gbps technology and with an upgradable design capacity of up to 12.8 Tbps.
The ACE Submarine Cable Consortium, in collaboration with Alcatel Lucent, recently ran successful tests for 300 Gbps technology on its system, which it plans to deploy in the near future.