The ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable system, signed a landmark Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA), in Paris on 5th June 2010 with 19 members from 23 countries, which also culminated with the signing of the Supply Contract with Alcatel-Lucent. The contract came into force on 3rrrrd August, 2010.
Alcatel-Lucent will commence construction of the cable from Penmarch, France to Cape Town South Africa.
The ACE membership recognizes the importance and relevance of ACE to address the broadband needs in Africa and to partly achieve and complement the Connect Africa Goals. ACE is expected to be ready for commercial service in the first half of 2012.
The nineteen (19) signatories to the C&MA still remain fully committed to the project and are namely, 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 Comunicaçoes, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Gabon, Sierra Leone Cable Company, Sonatel and Sotelgui.
The ACE submarine cable system which will be 17,000 km long is a reality and will provide the most extensive access to countries along the west coast of Africa including connectivity to some landlocked countries. The system will include a state-of-the-art submarine cable equipped with latest 40G technology and with an upgradable design capacity up to 5.12Tbps. It will improve direct access within Africa and to other parts of the world, reduce communication cost sand become a key driver of social and economic growth in Africa.
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, America and Asia.