Orange, together with the other members of the ACE consortium, has announced the start of the next phase of the ACE submarine cable system to expand broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa.
For 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.
Currently, nearly 12 000km of fibre optic cable is being 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 users in up to 25 countries to access high speed Internet.
ACE’s broadband fibre optic technology uses 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 12,8Tbps using 100Gbps technology, which supports high-capacity networks.
The consortium has invested around $700-million in the construction of the cable, which includes $250-million from the Orange Group and its subsidiaries.