PRESS RELEASE : COMMISSIONING OF ACE SUBMARINE CABLE FOR FIRST 13 COUNTRIES

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France Telecom-Orange and the other members of the ACE consortium announced today in Banjul, Gambia, the commissioning of the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable which, for this first stage, links France to Sao Tome and Principe.

This cable, which will be extended to South Africa in a second phase, extends access to high-speed Internet in Africa and brings additional capacity to existing international networks.

Nearly 12,000 km of optical fiber have been deployed to connect 13 countries, from France to Sao Tomé & Principe along the west coast of Africa. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, will also be served by a land extension. Finally, Nigeria will also be connected to this cable in 2013.

This commissioning is the first step in the deployment plan for the ACE submarine cable which, in time, will cover a total of approximately 17,000 km. In a second phase, seven additional countries will also be connected.

To accomplish this ambitious project, France Telecom-Orange, accompanied by its subsidiaries Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Orange Cameroon, Orange Mali, Orange Niger and Sonatel, has surrounded itself with major partners within an international consortium.