Baharicom Signs Historic Agreement in Paris
PARIS, France, June 14, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Baharicom Development Company, co-builder of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE)/Uhurunet submarine cable system, joined co-builder France Telecom and 17 other signatories to sign the Construction and Management Agreement for the ACE /Uhurunet cable system.
An official ceremony was held on June 5th at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and was attended by government Ministers and high-ranking officials of several African countries, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), ECOWAS and the World Bank.
In its planned configuration, the 17,000 km-long fiber optic cable will stretch from France to South Africa and will be operational in the first half of 2012. It will connect 23 countries, either directly for coastal countries or indirectly through terrestrial links for landlocked countries Mali and Niger.
Baharicom will operate as a carrier’s carrier providing a full spectrum of Internet, voice and data services to telecommunication carriers, Internet Service Providers and others. Baharicom will have landing points in Africa’s two largest markets, South Africa and Nigeria, and in Ghana, Tenerife, Angola, and Namibia. It will have access to all the landing points in the ACE/Uhurunet system.
The ACE/Uhurunet network will be a key driver of Africa’s social and economic growth, providing the region’s highest capacity submarine network. In partnership with the Phelps Stokes Fund, Baharicom will establish a philanthropic broadband capacity endowment to provide free capacity to thousands of schools, universities and health care programs that cannot otherwise afford it.
NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency CEO, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, stated that “Uhurunet is essential to the African Union’s plan to bring broadband connectivity to all African countries, their governments and business, schools and universities, hospitals and communities.” “This is why,” he added, “NEPAD is happy to be one of the sponsors of Uhurunet.”
The ACE system will pioneer the new 40 Gbps Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technologies, which are currently being tested for deployment as part of the most advanced submarine cables. With an overall potential capacity of 5.12 Tbps, the system will at day one accommodate tomorrow’s ultra-broadband networks.
The ACE/Uhurunet project represents an overall investment of around USD 700 million for the consortium. Baharicom will invest USD 200 million in the project. Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks has been awarded the supply contract of the system, with Tyco as a subcontractor.
The nineteen (19) signatories to the Construction and Management Agreement are Baharicom Development Company, Cable Consortium of Liberia, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações, Côte d’Ivoire Telecom, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gambia Telecommunications Company, International Mauritania Telecom, Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunications, Orange Cameroun, Orange Guinée, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, PT Comunicaçoes, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Gabon, Sierra Leone Cable Company, Sonatel and Sotelgui.
Baharicom Development Company Ltd. Is a Mauritius Limited Liability Company established to plan, finance and operate Baharicom Ltd., Uhurunet’s operating company.
For more information call or write:
Baharicom Development Company Ltd
5th Floor Chancery House
Lislet Geoffroy Street
Port Luis, Mauritius
Mool C. Singhi
Chief Operating Officer
Ph: +1 (973) 960-2735
Dr. Robert Henderson
President, Philanthropic Division
Ph: +1 (847) 420-2460
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the Baharicom Development Company Ltd.
Baharicom Development Company Ltd