Orange has announced a major investment into the West Africa submarine cable system, MainOne in a move that will see the telco provide for the construction and installation of two new MainOne branches and stations to connect the cable to Dakar in Senegal and Abidjan in the Côte d’Ivoire by mid-2019.
Orange Marine, a 100% subsidiary of the Orange Group will manage the installation of these two new branches and Orange will be the owner of the cable station in Dakar.
MainOne’s current cable system comprises a 7,000km submarine cable, which was launched in 2010 and has landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal.
According to Jérome Barré, Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale and International Networks, “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.”
The new capacity will see local populations benefit from better connectivity, lower prices and access to new services and will 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.
“Through this new partnership, Orange is set to secure and improve direct access to high-speed broadband services in two of its most important countries, Senegal and the Côte d’Ivoire,” said Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa.
MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer Funke Opeke said: “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. 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”.
Orange is present in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has 119 million customers (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.