Commercial ACE services officially launched in Benin
High speed connectivity services on the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) international submarine fibre-optic cable were officially put into service in the Republic of Benin at a ceremony last week hosted by the Ministry of Communications & ICT (MCICT), more than six months after the Cotonou landing station’s connection to the ACE network on 1 April 2015, Agence Ecofin reports. Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi was present at the launch event for ACE, which adds capacity and redundancy to the country’s existing international submarine connection on the SAT3/WASC system, in service since 2002.
The project to connect Benin to ACE was conducted under the Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme for West Africa (WARCIP), and reportedly cost USD35 million, funded by the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank, the Beninese government and the local Benin ACE GIE consortium which is licensed to operate and manage access to the new submarine bandwidth. Benin ACE GIE consists of local mobile/fixed telecoms operators/ISPs, namely: MTN Benin, Moov Benin, Benin Telecoms/Libercom, Isocel, Espace Informatique Benin (EIT), Omnium des Telecommunications et de l’Internet (OTI) and Univercell. State-backed Benin Telecoms is also a direct member of the ACE cable consortium, led by France’s Orange Group.