The cable, which spans around 17,000km, will connect to 16 countries before backhauling via MTN South Africa
Today, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has gone live, available for interconnection at all three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa.
The cable, which represents a total investment of around $700 million, covers roughly 17,000km along the West Coast of Africa and up into Europe, connecting Duynefontein, South Africa at its most southern point to Penmarch, France at its most northern.
The system is owned by a consortium of 20 members, including Orange, MTN, Dolphin Telecom, and various regional players.
The cable’s activation represents a major boost for West African connectivity, with ACE set to deliver services to around 410 million people. Of the sixteen countries directly connected by the cable, thirteen are in Africa, with seven of these being connected to the global connectivity backbone for the first time: Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tome e Príncipe and Sierra Leone.
Mali and Niger will also connect to the ACE cable system through terrestrial network extensions.
The ACE cable itself consists of two fibre pairs with a design capacity of 20Tbps. Latency is reportedly 145ms Paris to Cape Town and 135ms from Lisbon to Cape Town.
“ACE is playing a critical role in the infrastructure development of the continent. 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,” said Michelle McCann, Head, Interconnection and Peering at Teraco.
“ACE is now equipped to offer 100 Gbps, maximising possibilities of interconnection to the Internet. This increased capacity and reach across Africa will bring a direct benefit to data-driven organisations while also supporting further development across the Internet ecosystem,” she added.
The activation of this cable will not only help deliver broadband services to customers but should play a major role in delivering digital transformation for education, healthcare, and other public services.
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