Orange, MainOne sign major connectivity deal for West Africa

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Updated: March 7, 2021


Orange  and MainOne Cable Company have signed a major submarine connectivity deal likely to lower prices and connect more people in West Africa, the companies said in a statement on Friday.

Orange is making a major investment in the West Africa submarine cable system, MainOne. Through the new partnership, Orange will acquire additional capacity, reinforcing its position in the African telecommunications ecosystem.

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“The development of new digital services in Africa has fostered huge social and economic developments over the past few years. As barriers to access continue to fall with improved networks and more affordable equipment, Orange, as part of its multi-service strategy, is seeking to position itself as an important partner in the continent’s digital transformation Through this new partnership,” said Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa.

“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,” added Jérome Barré, Orange Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale and International Networks.

MainOne’s current cable system comprises a 7,000 km submarine cable, which was launched in 2010 and has landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal.

The new partnership between Orange and MainOne Company will provide for the construction and installation of two new branches and stations that 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.

Both companies believe the new cable connection, local populations will benefit from better connectivity, 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.

“MainOne continues to lead the digital transformation of our sub-region by investing in affordable connectivity to drive economic development. Our objective is to bridge the digital divide between and within West Africa and the rest of the world,” said MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer Funke Opeke.

“We are committed to deepening broadband penetration across West Africa and believe our investments in technologically advanced subsea infrastructure will continue to liberalize the international bandwidth market, further support Orange and other wholesale customers, and ultimately result in improved digital services in the region,” she added.

Orange is present in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has 119 million customers as at 30 June 2018). With 5 billion euros of revenues in 2017, this zone is a strategic priority for the Group.

Orange Money, its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has 38 million customers. Orange, a multi-services operator and key partner of the continent’s digital transformation, provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

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Simon Ateba Washington DC
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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