Orange shares African ambitions

French telco Orange has announced it will be focusing on Africa and the Middle East for growth in the coming years and noted the connection of the Canary Islands to the ACE submarine cable.

Orange saw fit to host a specific press event to unveil its African Ambitions, at which it said it aims to grow revenues from its operations in those regions by 5% per year through to 2018, while simultaneously improving margins. Currently Orange’s African operations account for 11% of its revenues

The company is open to a number of ways of achieving this boost, including the latest network technologies such as virtualization technologies, network sharing and acquisitions. In order to facilitate the kind of flexibility required Orange is setting up a separate holding company for its operations in these regions.

At the same time Orange was also keen to bring attention to the progress being made on the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable. The Canary Islands and Benin have now been added to the 16 countries, including France and Nigeria, that are served by the 17,000 kilometre cable, which eventually extend down to South Africa.

Orange and a number of its African subsidiaries are members of the consortium behind the ACE cable, which is designed to expand internet access in Africa. The first phase was launched at the end of 2012 linking Europe to west Africa. The cable uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), which will enable its capacity to be increased without any additional submarine work. The total consortium investment is $700 million.

ACE map

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