Six new telecommunication operators have joined the ACE consortium which is rolling out a submarine cable system from France to South Africa.
The new operators are Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group (Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria), Globalink (Sierra Leone), Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sierratel (Sierra Leone). In addition, Baharicom Development Company, supported by the Nepad's (New Partnership for Africa's Development) eAfrica Commission of the African Union, joined ACE as a major partner in October, to jointly build the ACE system, Broadband News reported. The ACE consortium currently comprises 25 parties: Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Camtel, Cote d'Ivoire Telecom, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Etisalat Nigeria, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gamtel, Getesa, Globalink, Maroc Telecom, Mauritano-Tunisienne des Telecommunications, Mauritius Telecom, Office Congolais de Poste et Telecommunication, Orange Bissau, Orange Cameroun, Orange Cote d'Ivoire, Orange Guinee, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Orange Spain, Sierratel, Sonatel and Togo Telecom. The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, will be ready for service in 2011. The system will offer a minimum capacity of 1.92 Tbps.