Six new telecommunication operators joined the ACE consortium recently, namely Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group (Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria), Globalink (Sierra Leone), Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et TÃ©lÃ©communication (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sierratel (Sierra Leone).
In addition, Baharicom Development Company Ltd., supported by the NEPADâ€™s (New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development) eAfrica Commission of the African Union, joined ACE as a major partner in October 2009, to jointly build the ACE system.
The ACE system will be a key driver of Africaâ€™s social and economic growth. Baharicom, in collaboration with philanthropic organizations, will establish a broadband capacity philanthropic endowment to provide capacity grants for health, education, development programs and charitable institutions throughout Africa.
The new members reinforce the structure of ACE and demonstrate that its strategy is attractive to African telecommunication operators and is seen as an effective way to meet their international traffic requirements.
The ACE consortium currently comprises twenty five parties: Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Camtel, CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire Telecom, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gamtel, Getesa, Globalink, Maroc Telecom, Mauritano-Tunisienne des TÃ©lÃ©communications, Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et TÃ©lÃ©communication, Orange Bissau, Orange Cameroun, Orange CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire, Orange GuinÃ©e, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Orange Spain, Sierratel, Sonatel and Togo Telecom.
The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, will be ready for service in 2011. The system will include state-of-the-art submarine cable technology with a minimum capacity of 1.92 Tbit/s, which is capable of supplying the network connectivity required to meet the needs of many countries and secure international traffic.
ACE will complement existing submarine cables (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE, SEA-ME-WE.3, ATLANTIS 2, etc.) and will offer the West African coastal region excellent connectivity to telecommunications networks in Europe, America and Asia.