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ACE submarine cable extended to South Africa

Africa , 20 Nov 2015

ACE submarine cable extended to South Africa

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system is being extended by 5,000 kilometres to South Africa from the island of Sao Tomé & Principe, a move that will increase ACE's contribution to the provision of connectivity on the continent.

The ACE cable became operational in 2012, after a consortium of various partners invested around US$700 million. The first phase linked linked France and Sao Tomé & Principe - a distance of almost 12,000 kilometres, with the cable running along the west coast of Africa.

Eighteen countries, including Mali, Niger and Liberia, were originally connected, with seven countries benefitting for the first time from a direct connection to a submarine cable, with the second phase aimed at expanding broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa.

Once completed, ACE will cover a total distance of 17,000 kilometres and allow up to 25 countries to access high speed internet. Members of the consortium said the continued investment in the cable confirms its commitment to provide widespread access to the internet.

"ACE uses the most advanced high-speed broadband fiber optic technology; wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) allows the capacity to be increased as and when it is needed without additional submarine work being required. Overall capacity will be boosted to 12.8 Tbps using 100-Gbps technology, which supports high-capacity networks," the consortium said.

Orange says, "Through these major investments Orange confirms its commitment to provide widespread access to the internet in the close to twenty African countries where the Group is present and to continue to improve the quality of its network service."

Alcatel Lucent added "Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks will be assisting ACE to roll out Phase II of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system. Alcatel-Lucent will be supplying 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) submarine technology. ACE system will deliver an overall design capacity of 12.8 Tbit/s, significantly speeding up delivery of broadband services and content."

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