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US$700m ACE cable lands and is live says Teraco

By , ITWeb
Africa , South Africa , 30 Jun 2021
Michelle McCann, Head of Interconnection and Peering, Teraco.
Michelle McCann, Head of Interconnection and Peering, Teraco.

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable is now live and available for interconnection at three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa, expanding access to broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa.

ACE is the eighth submarine cable system to connect at Teraco, as the company positions itself to become one of the leading interconnection hubs on the African continent.

Spanning approximately 17 000km along the West Coast of Africa, Teraco says ACE lands in 19 countries before being backhauled by MTN South Africa, the landing partner, into Teraco’s data centre facilities.

The landing of the cable comes as SA is witnessing increased investments in the data centre space.

Data centre service providers are also expecting an increase in data traffic as a result of more submarine communications cables coming to Africa.

Last year, Teraco announced construction had commenced on a new hyper-scale data centre, with 38MW of critical power load, in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg.

The JB4 facility is Teraco’s seventh data centre development and is located in the heart of the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis.

Michele McCann, head of interconnection and peering, Teraco, says SA is a critical hub for access to digital services in the region.

“Our position as the interconnection hub in Africa allows us to address the increasing demands for global data transit. Users of ACE now have direct access to Teraco’s ecosystem of over 350 networks, 130 IT service providers, 50 global content providers, and the key global cloud providers via their cloud onramps located in Teraco.”

She says there is a shift to a more interconnected offering, making Teraco’s African Cloud Exchange vital as it links enterprise systems and data with networks, cloud providers, platforms and cable systems.

“Data centres like ours act as the perfect neutral hub for interconnection and data exchange. It’s here that cloud onramps and switching points from many different cloud providers and network operators meet. As companies increasingly embrace a hybrid infrastructure, the integration and interconnection between the different systems and platforms play a vital role.”

According to McCann, this interconnectedness within data centres provides organisations with opportunities to address their digital transformation through choice and access speeds effectively.

“This increased capacity and reach across Africa will bring a direct benefit to data-driven organisations whilst also supporting further development across the Internet ecosystem.”

McCann adds that the timing is key as the regions’ cloud uptake consistently increases due to the digital transformation occurring across most business sectors.

“ACE is playing a critical role in the continent’s infrastructure development. Using the most advanced high-speed broadband fibre-optic technology enables the cable capacity to be increased as and when needed without additional submarine work required.”

ACE connects Europe to Africa’s West and Southern coast through a high-speed fibre optic system, which has been extended to South Africa.

Commissioned to support the cost-effective delivery of broadband services and digital applications for education, healthcare and other e-services, Teraco notes that ACE reaches an estimated 450 million people, equivalent to 5.8% of the world’s population.

It adds that16 of the 19 countries connected are on African soil – and in the case of Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé e Príncipe and Sierra Leone, ACE is the first international submarine cable to land on their shores.

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