The infrastructure will be coupled with submarine cables and centrally managed, with the commercial launch planned for Q2 2020.
Orange says the multi-regional West African network will connect to the rest of the world through various submarine cables and will link all the main capital cities in the region, including Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Accra and Lagos.
It is in addition to Orange’s recent investment in the MainOne submarine cable connecting Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire to Europe.
The operator group is present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has around 125 million customers as of 30 September 2019. The continent generated revenues of €5.2 billion in 2018 and is an area of “strategic priority” for the Group, Orange said in a statement.
It also said the new infrastructure represents a new stage in the development of Orange’s international connectivity in Africa.
High capaciity and availablity
This new network is designed to provide large-scale, international capacity and will help develop a digital ecosystem and meet business needs in West Africa.
The network will offer high levels of resilience and availability due to diversified routes (see graphic above).
It will support a range of international connectivity services including international private line services with bandwidth of 2Mbps to 100Gps and Ethernet private lines to provide inherently secure point to point connections, again with bandwidths from 2 Mbps to 10Gps.
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said: “For Orange, this West African backbone network represents a major investment that will secure availability of international connectivity and will enable us to meet the demand for increased bandwidth necessary for the continued digital development of regions within the zone.”