MainOne, Orange ink deal to boost internet access into Francophone West Africa

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French Telecoms company, Orange and leading West African Connectivity and Data Centre services provider, MainOne have struck a partnership that will see the French telecoms giant co-invest in two new cable landing stations in Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire while the broadband infrastructure provider will provide additional capacity via its 7000km cable system from Europe to Africa with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal, reinforcing the position of both companies in the African telecommunications ecosystem.

Thanks to this new cable connection, several countries in West Africa 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 to meet the increasing demands for Internet access via 3G and 4G network. More specifically, this cable extension is an opportunity to improve connectivity and offer a broader range of services for both Orange Côte d’Ivoire & Senegal’s Sonatel. In addition, neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania will benefit from enhanced capacity.

For MainOne, the partnership underscores the company’s vision for a better connected region, its Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke says “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”.

Speaking on the strategic deal, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye says “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.”

The MainOne Submarine Cable System links West Africa with Europe, bringing ultra-fast broadband in the region. It runs from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana to Lagos in Nigeria, with capacity to land branches in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal, and Cote D’Ivoire. The cable system, which now has an upgradable capacity of over 10 TBPS, first went live in July 2010, becoming the first private subsea cable to bring open-access, broadband capacity to West Africa.

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