MainOne
MainOne Cable/The Cable

French telecoms group Orange has announced it has made a major investment in MainOne Cable Company.

Orange in a statement, said it has signed an agreement allowing for a major investment by Orange in the West Africa submarine cable system, MainOne. Through this partnership Orange said it will acquire additional capacity, thereby reinforcing its position in the African telecommunications ecosystem.

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Orange was attracted to MainOne’s current cable system made up a 7,000km submarine cable and its landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal.

Orange added the deal with MainOne 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.

With this new cable connection, Orange said 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,” it stated.

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

“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,” said Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa.

MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer Funke Opeke added: “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”.