ACE is a consortium of telecom operators from Africa and Europe under the initiative and leadership of France Telecom. The Consortium is constructing a 17,000 km long fibre optic submarine cable system stretching from France to South Africa and planned to connect 23 countries directly for coastal countries and indirectly through terrestrial links for landlocked countries like Mali and Niger. The ACE system, which will be operational in the half of 2012, has a design capacity of 5.12 Tbps and supported by the new 40 Gbps wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology that would accommodate tomorrow's ultra-broadband networks. ACE connectivity will become a key driver of Africa's social and economic growth.
The 17 members of the ACE Consortium are Cable Consortium of Liberia, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Cote d'Ivoire Telecom, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gambia Telecommunications Company, International Mauritania Telecom, Orange Cameroun, Orange Guinee, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, PT Comunicacoes, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Gabon, Sierra Leone Cable Company, Sonatel and Sotelgui.