Orange and the members of the ACE consortium have launch the ACE cable in Cotonou, Benin and Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The connection of these two stations is part of the second phase of deployment of the ACE submarine cable, which now serves 18 countries: France, Portugal, the Canary Islands in Spain, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, are connected via a terrestrial extension.
The ACE cable, which expands broadband internet access in Africa and provides additional capacity to existing national networks, will cover 17,000 kilometres and will be extended to South Africa by the end of the second phase. Branches are planned in order to connect Cameroon, as this country has just signed the agreement that formalizes its entry into the ACE consortium, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Namibia.
Since the first phase was launched in December 2012, seven of the connected countries – Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Sierra Leone – have had a direct connection to a submarine cable for the first time, enabling them to access the international broadband network.