|ACE submarine cable
Photo: France Telecom-Orange
20 Operators team with Alcatel-Lucent to bring fast, lower-cost broadband connectivity in Africa with a new 17,000 km submarine system
With built-in 40 Gbit/s capability, ACE will link 23 countries from South Africa to France, providing some of them with direct access to the global network for the first time
Paris, June 8, 2010
(Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has signed a turnkey contract valued at over 500 million US dollars
with Africa Coast to Europe (ACE),
a newly formed consortium composed of 20 operators linking Cape Town in South Africa to Penmarch in France via a submarine cable network.
This new submarine network system, with built-in 40 Gbit/s capability
, will span over 17,000 km
and will deliver super fast broadband communications to and from the African continent and Europe
Upon expected commercial service in the first half of 2012, this network will bring broadband optical data connectivity for the first time to the people of Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe,
and Equatorial Guinea
It will also provide a higher level of service and traffic protection in the region by featuring Alcatel-Lucent’s technology
advancements in next-generation coherent technology, including innovations from Bell Labs
, to deal with transmission impairments in a cost–effective and automated manner.
Initiated and headed by France Telecom-Orange
, the consortium is composed of twenty parties
Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Cable Consortium of Liberia, Orange Cameroun, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações, Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gambia Telecommunications Company, International Mauritania Telecom, Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunication, Orange Guinea, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, PT Comunicações, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Gabonese Republic, Sierra Leone Cable, Société des Télécommunications de Guinée and Sonatel.
With an ultimate design capacity of 5.12 Terabit/s, ACE
has built-in 40 Gbit/s
, providing the broadband infrastructure that will address present and future needs for connectivity and capacity.
This new super high speed data network will cost-effectively support innovative broadband services such as e-education and healthcare applications.
These applications will also benefit from a dedicated initiative from Baharicom in collaboration with philanthropic organizations, to establish a broadband capacity endowment to provide capacity grants for development programs and charitable institutions.
’s costal route will link South Africa to France - via Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Tenerife (Spain)
– and will have 21 landing points
along the route.
“ACE is further proof of the need for faster and more cost-effective capacity and alternative route to provide everyone with broadband access, so crucial to social and economic development,” said Yves Ruggeri, Chairman of the consortium’s Management Committee
“Alcatel-Lucent combines field-proven experience, reliability and the customer focus we need for such a crucial project that will set a new milestone in the development of the African communication infrastructure.”
“ACE is set to advance the African communication infrastructure with new connectivity to expand the adoption of basic and advanced broadband services at affordable rates,” said Philippe Dumont, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine network activity.
“This new contract further confirms our commitment to put our newest 40Gbit/s technology at the service of information enablement to ensure that broadband access is economically spread throughout the continent, while improving service reach and stability.”
More about the Alcatel-Lucent’s solution for ACE
will deploy its advance submarine line terminal (1620 Light Manager
) working at up to 40Gbit/s
and using phase shift keying (PSK
)-based modulation formats with next-generation coherent detection to deal with transmission impairments in a cost-effective and automated manner.
As part of the solution, Alcatel-Lucent
will also supply its branching units and will implement its 1678 Metro Core Connect
in the landing points that will be located along the route in Swakopmund (Namibia), Luanda (Angola), Muanda (Democratic Republic of Congo), Libreville (Gabon), Bata (Equatorial Guinea), Santana (Sao Tome), Kribi (Cameroon), Lagos (Nigeria), Cotonou (Benin), Accra (Ghana), Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Conakry (Guinea), Banjul (The Gambia), Dakar (Senegal), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Tenerife (Spain)
and Lisbon (Portugal).
(Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users.
A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP and optics technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent
leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs
, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry.
With operations in more than 130 countries
and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent
is a local partner with a global reach.
achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion
in 2009 and is incorporated in France
, with executive offices located in Paris
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Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Submarine Cable Consortium signs landmark Agreement in Paris
Paris, June 08, 2010
The Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) of ACE submarine cable project
was signed on Saturday June 5th, 2010.
An official ceremony was held at the Eiffel Tower in Paris
, with the presence of government Ministers
and high-ranking official representatives of several African countries, NPCA (formerly NEPAD), ECOWAS and the World Bank.
connectivity will become a key driver of Africa’s social and economic growth.
The nineteen (19) signatories to the C&MA are Baharicom Development Company, Cable Consortium of Liberia, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações, Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gambia Telecommunications Company, International Mauritania Telecom, Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunications, Orange Cameroun, Orange Guinée, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, PT Comunicações, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Gabon, Sierra Leone Cable Company, Sonatel and Sotelgui.
In its planned configuration, the 17,000 km-long fiber optic cable
stretching from France to South Africa
will be operational in the first half of 2012. It will connect 23 countries
, either directly for coastal countries or indirectly through terrestrial links for landlocked countries Mali
This will be the first international submarine cable to land in Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone.
Other countries benefiting from the ACE project include Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa and Spain (Tenerife).
The ACE system
will deploy wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology,
which is currently the most advanced for submarine cables. With WDM
, cable capacity can be increased without additional submarine work. With an overall potential capacity of 5.12 Tbps
, the system will support the new 40 Gbps technology
at day one, which will accommodate tomorrow's ultra-broadband networks
The ACE project
represents an overall investment of around USD 700 million
for the consortium. Alcatel-Lucent
has been awarded the supply contract of the system.
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 excellent connectivity to telecommunications networks in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
ACE submarine cable configuration
|ACE submarine cable configuration
Photo: France Telecom-Orange
1. Penmarch, France
2. Lisbon, Portugal
3. Tenerife, Spain
4. Nouakchott, Mauritania
5. Dakar, Senegal
6. Banjul, The Gambia
7. Conakry, Guinea
8. Freetown, Sierra Leone
9. Monrovia, Liberia
10. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
11. Accra, Ghana
12. Cotonou, Benin
13. Lagos, Nigeria
14. Kribi, Cameroon
15. Bata, Equatorial Guinea
16. Libreville, Gabon
17. Santana, Sao Tome and Principe
18. Muanda, Democratic Republic of Congo
19. Luanda, Angola
20. Swakopmund, Namibia
21. Cape Town, South Africa
Mr. Julien Léger
+33 (0)1 40 29 69 69
Mr. Pamodou Gassama
+220 996 1900