Orange Group and MainOne Cable Company have signed an agreement allowing for a major investment by Orange in MainOne, the West Africa submarine cable system.
A news report distributed by African Press Organisation (APO) Group on the deal indicated that through the partnership Orange will acquire additional capacity, thereby reinforcing its position in the African telecommunications ecosystem.
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. The partnership between Orange and MainOne Company will provide for the construction and installation of two new branches and stations.
These 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.
In terms of connectivity, capacity and growth opportunities, the cable connection between the companies will enable local populations to benefit from better connectivity, lower prices and access to new services.
The news release stated further: “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.
As a key asset of the Orange Group’s broadband network in Africa, through this new partnership, Orange confirms its position as a leading player in the submarine cable market. In this role, the Group aims to develop the quality of service of its worldwide networks and facilitate the use of new digital services for end-users.
The company has a strong commitment to the African continent, which has been at the heart of the Group’s strategy for the last few decades. The Group is investing heavily in building infrastructure and providing access to communication services over the long-term.
Orange Group’s Chief Executive Officer of Wholesale and International Networks, Jérome Barré, said: “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”, Barré added.
Similarly, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye, enthused: “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, 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”, he added.
In her comments, MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer Funke Opeke reiterated the company’s vision for a connected West Africa: “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”, Opeke projected.
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.