The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable spans 17,000 km along the west coast of Africa, connecting 19 countries including France, Portugal, the Canary Islands (Spain), Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Mali and Niger (ACE Phase I), and South Africa.
Seven of these African countries – The Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe and Sierra Leone – benefit for the first time from a direct connection to a submarine cable. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, connect to the ACE cable system through terrestrial network extensions.
The ACE consortium comprises France TelecomOrange, together with its subsidiaries Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Orange Cameroon, Orange Mali, Orange Niger and Sonatel, have combined forces with other major partners to form an international consortium.
The ACE cable system costs a total investment of around U$700 million, with around $250 million financed by Orange group and its subsidiaries.
The ACE cable system consists of two fiber pairs, with an intial design capacity of 5.12 Tbps using 40 Gbps DWDM technology when the Phase I was ready for service in December 2012, supplied by ASN.
On June 1st, 2021, the ACE cable system extension to South Africa was ready for service, increasing design capacity of the entire system to 20Tbps.