ACE Undersea Cable Connects 7 African States to Global Internet Backbone For the First Time


There are many Pan-African undersea internet cables, including SEAS, Seacom, and TEAMs. The three, among others, serve the East Coast. Others exist as well and serve key markets of the continent extensively.

Latest developments have revealed that the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has gone live. It is now available for interconnection in select African countries.

This will see vast expansion and access to broadband connectivity in the continent.

Furthermore, ACE is now the 8th submarine cable system that links up to Teraco.

It spans 17000 kilometers along the West Coat of Africa, and connect 24 countries prior to backhauling through MTN South Africa that is also its landing partner.

According to Michelle McCann, Head of Interconnection and Peering, Teraco, ‘ACE is now equipped to offer 100 Gbps, maximising possibilities of interconnection to the Internet. This increased capacity and reach across Africa will bring a direct benefit to data-driven organisations while also supporting further development across the Internet ecosystem.’

Data centres like ours acts as the perfect neutral hub for interconnection and data exchange. It’s here that onramps and switching points from many different cloud providers and network operators meet, and as companies increasingly embrace a hybrid infrastructure, the integration and interconnection between the different systems and platforms play a much more important role – McCann

ACE seeks to deliver broadbad services and digital applications for education, healthcare and other online services. It targets to reach 410 million people.

Other than South Africa, the cable serves 12 other African countries and three more outside the continent. Of the African countries, 7 (Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé & Principe, and Sierra Leone) were connected to the global internet backbone for the first time by the undersea cable system.

Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, connect to the ACE cable system through terrestrial network extensions.

The infrastructure is said to have cost USD 700 million and consists of two fibre pairs with a design capacity of 20Tbps. Latency is 145 milliseconds from Paris to Cape Town and 135 milliseconds from Lisbon to Cape Town.