ACE - Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable

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ACE - Africa Coast to Europe
Cable typeSubmarine communications cable
First trafficDecember 15, 2012
Design capacity5.12 Tbit/s
Area servedWest African coast

Africa Coast to Europe or ACE is an optical-fiber submarine cable system serving 24 countries on the west coast of Africa and Europe, managed by a consortium of 19 members.

The ACE cable connects more than 400 million people, either directly for coastal countries or through land links for landlocked countries such as Mali and Niger. ACE is also the first international submarine cable to land in Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tomé and Principe and Sierra Leone.

Agreements are being put in place to allow the arrival of other operators in countries along the ACE cable route. Guinea-Bissau is the next country to be connected to the submarine cable.

ACE Consortium consists of telecommunications operators and member countries that have invested in the total 700 million dollars project, sometimes with the financial support of the World Bank.The consortium agreement was signed on 5 June 2010 and on 15 December 2012, this 17,000 km-long cable was put into service for the first time. The official inauguration ceremony was held in Banjul, Gambia, on 19 December 2012.

The 4 to 5 cms diameter cable has a potential capacity of 5.12 Tbps and runs at around 6,000m below the sea level.

It has been manufactured by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and laid by ships from ASN and Orange Marine.

Cable landing in Dakar to allow Guinea bissau connection

Cable landing in Dakar to allow Guinea bissau connection
Cable landing in Dakar to allow Guinea bissau connection

ACE consortium[edit]

Celebrants touch lead buoy during cable landing.
ACE cable landing in Monrovia on November 3, 2011

The cable cost consortium members $700 million :


Landing points[edit]

ACE cable route

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Segment 4

Technical features[edit]

This 17 000-kilometers long cable is the only one connecting 24 west African and European countries. The ACE consortium members are organized according to a global access concept: multiple investors in one landing station. ACE marine routes have a low history of fault and a time-proof technology. The cable is able to adopt newer transponder technology.

Technical features are as below :

- PoP-to-PoP connection providing access to major cities in Europe and Africa (Paris, Telvent, Cape Town)

-100G technology proof

-Design capacity = 12.8 terabytes per second

-Lit capacity = 1.6 terabytes per second

-Initial capacity 200 Gbit/s on segment 1, 160 Gbit/s on segments 2 and 3

-Maximum capacity of 5.12 Tbit/s at design

-Longest DLS = 4400 kilometres (Penmarch - Dakar)

-Low latency (express and omnibus fibres)

-Uses wavelength division multiplexing (the most advanced for submarine cables)

Online searches do not return significant outages caused by damage to the cable since 2012, until 2019, March 30.

See also[edit]

List of international submarine communications cables

Individual cable systems off the west coast of Africa include:


  • "Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Submarine Cable Consortium signs landmark Agreement in Paris" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  • "ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable welcomes new members" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  • "ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable extended to South Africa" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-06-16.