France Telecom-Orange and other members of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) consortium have announced the launch of ACE submarine cable linking France and Sao Tomé & Principe
France Telecom-Orange said that the cable, which will extend as far as South Africa for the second phase, will provide better connectivity to broadband Internet in Africa and add extra capacity to existing international networks.
The company further informed that nearly 12,000km of optical fibre, running along the west coast of Africa, has been deployed to connect 13 countries from France to Sao Tomé & Principe. The landlocked countries of Mali and Niger will also be connected through extensions to the terrestrial network, with Nigeria set to be connected to the cable in 2013.
Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe and Sierra Leone, will all benefit from a direct connection to the submarine cable, enabling them to enjoy optimal access to the international broadband network.
A statement by France Telecom-Orange said, “By using this new network, the telecoms operators in these countries will be able to develop broadband services that are essential to their economic and social development.
“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.”
The commissioning of this first phase has marked the beginning of the deployment plan for the ACE submarine cable, which will ultimately run for a total of approximately 17,000km.
To carry out this project, 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.