France Telecom-Orange announces Africa Coast to Europe cable lands in Brittany

France Telecom-Orange says the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has landed at the submarine cable station of Penmarc’h, Brittany. The 17,000-km cable, which the pan-European carrier expects will be operational in the second half of 2012, will provide broadband Internet capacity in Africa as well as an additional layer of security for communications between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

France Telecom-Orange says the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has landed at the submarine cable station of Penmarc’h, Brittany. The 17,000-km cable, which the pan-European carrier expects will be operational in the second half of 2012, will provide broadband Internet capacity in Africa as well as an additional layer of security for communications between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

France Telecom SA, together with its subsidiaries Côte d'Ivoire Telecom, Orange Cameroon, Orange Guinea, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, and Sonatel, have partnered with several regional and international service providers to fund the submarine cable project. These partners include Baharicom Development Company Ltd., Benin Telecoms, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Expresso Telecom Group, Gamtel, International Mauritania Telecom, Cable Consortium of Liberia Inc., Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunications, Portugal Telecom, the Gabonese Republic, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone Cable Ltd., and Sotelgui. A consortium announced a construction agreement in June 2010 (see “Construction agreement signed for the Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable”).

The project will cost approximately $700 million for the consortium, of which around $250 million will come from France Telecom and its subsidiaries.

The ACE cable will provide global broadband network access to Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, and Sierra Leone, for the first time, France Telecom-Orange asserts. Inland countries such as Mali and Niger will connect to the submarine network via terrestrial links.

For greater communications security, ACE will provide an alternative route for communications to countries connected to the SAT3-WASC-SAFE cable, which runs along the west coast of Africa and links Portugal to Malaysia. Through links to other submarine cables, ACE will also provide an alternative western route for traffic between Europe and Reunion as well as the France Telecom-Orange’s subsidiaries in Africa and the Indian Ocean. ACE will also diversify transmission arteries between France and Portugal.

At the Penmarc’h station, ACE is connected to Sea-Me-We 3. The new cable will support 40-Gbps per wavelength with a total system capacity of 5.12 Tbps.

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