9 JUNE 2009 -- The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system, which was initially planned to stretch from France to Gabon, will now be extended to South Africa, thus connecting all countries along the west coast of Africa, from Morocco to South Africa. This new cable will provide broadband interconnection to the global telecommunications network to more than 25 countries in Africa and Western Europe.
The ACE consortium currently comprises 17 telecommunications operators. Three operators -- Mauritano-Tunisienne des TÃ©lÃ©communications, Camtel, and Companhia Santomense de TelecomunicaÃ§Ãµes -- recently joined the original 14 operators. The original members include Benin Telecoms SA, CÃ´te d'Ivoire Telecom, France TÃ©lÃ©com SA, Gamtel, Maroc Telecom, Orange Bissau, Orange Cameroun, Orange GuinÃ©e, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Orange Spain, Portugal Telecom, Sonatel, and Togo Telecom. These 14 signed the memorandum of understanding approved in Dakar on 27 November 2008.
The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, will be switched on in 2011. It will provide a minimum capacity of 1.92 Tbps, capable of supplying the network connectivity required to meet the needs of many countries and secure international traffic.
ACE will complement existing submarine cables (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE, SEA-ME-WE.3, ATLANTIS 2, etc.) and will offer the West African coastal region connectivity to telecommunications networks in Europe, America, and Asia.