The Africa Coast to Europe – ACE – submarine cable connects Europe to the west coast of Africa through a high speed fiber optic system. ACE was launched in Dec. 2012 and is currently being extended to South Africa.
ACE Consortium consists of telecommunications operators and member countries that have invested in the total 700 million dollars project, some of them with the financial support of the World Bank. The consortium agreement was signed on 5 June 2010 and on 15 December 2012, the 17,000 km-long cable was put into service for the first time.
The ACE cable connects more than 450 million people, either directly for coastal countries or through land links for landlocked countries such as Mali and Niger. ACE is also the first international submarine cable to land in Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé and Principe and Sierra Leone.
Agreements are being put in place to allow the arrival of other operators in countries along the ACE cable route. Guinea-Bissau is the next country to be connected to the submarine cable.
The 4 to 5 cms diameter cable runs at around 6,000m below the sea level. It was manufactured by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and was laid by ships from ASN and Orange Marine.