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Orange investing in MainOne submarine cable to boost West African connectivity

Orange investing in MainOne submarine cable to boost West African connectivity

Orange is providing significant investment to MainOne’s West Africa submarine cable system.

Through this partnership Orange will acquire additional capacity, thereby reinforcing its position in the African telecommunications ecosystem. MainOne’s current cable system comprises a 7,000km submarine cable, which was launched in 2010 and has landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal.

The partnership between Orange and MainOne Company will provide for the construction and installation of two new branches and stations. These will connect the cable to Dakar in Senegal and Abidjan in the Côte d’Ivoire by mid-2019. Orange will be the owner of the cable station in Dakar. Orange’s investment represents a major milestone for this project. Orange Marine, a 100% subsidiary of the Orange Group, has been chosen to manage the installation of these two new branches.

The new cable connection will provide better connectivity to local populations, as well as enabling lower prices and access to new services. Orange will benefit from multiple Terabits per second of additional bandwidth for the development of fixed and mobile data in Africa. More specifically, this cable extension is an opportunity to improve connectivity and offer a broader range of services for both Orange Côte d’Ivoire & Sonatel. In addition, MainOne offers an alternative route that guarantees the protection of voice and data traffic passing through the other cables in the area – SAT3 WASC SAFE and ACE.

"Orange's ambition on international networks is both to meet the needs of our affiliates in their interconnection with the Internet world and to increase our leadership on the international data services wholesale market. This partnership with MainOne will allow us to strengthen our presence, with new significant assets in West Africa,” said Jérome Barré, Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale and International Networks.

“The development of new digital services in Africa has fostered huge social and economic developments over the past few years. Through this new partnership, Orange is set to secure and improve direct access to high-speed broadband services in two of its most important countries, Senegal and the Côte d’Ivoire,” said Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa.

MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer Funke Opeke reiterated the company’s vision for a connected West Africa: “Our objective is to bridge the digital divide between and within West Africa and the rest of the world. We are committed to deepening broadband penetration across West Africa and believe our investments in technologically advanced subsea infrastructure will continue to liberalise the international bandwidth market, further support Orange and other wholesale customers, and ultimately result in improved digital services in the region”.

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