Orange launches first pan-African fibre optic network

Orange has announced the commissioning and commercial launch of Djoliba, the first pan-African fibre optic network.

Announced at the AfricaTech Festival, the infrastructure is based on a terrestrial fibre optic network, coupled with undersea cables and promises to offer secure connectivity abroad from West Africa.

Djoliba, Orange said, is the first unified superfast broadband network that provides “seamless connectivity, with better availability thanks to network redundancy and security, and excellent quality of service”. It will be operated and maintained from Dakar out of a dedicated supervision centre.

The new network will cover eight countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

Announcing Djoliba, Orange said that West African telcos to date have been reliant on networks built in each country with no cross-border connectivity. This, the operator said, is a “true innovation” that should simplify the interconnection between countries.

Djoliba is based on more than 10,000 km of terrestrial fibre optic network, coupled with 10,000 km of undersea cables, superfast broadband provision (up to 100 Gbit/s) and a 99.99% availability rate. This network covers 16 points of presence with a grid of nearly 155 technical sites, and connects 300 points of presence in Europe, America and Asia.

The new network will help Orange and its subsidiaries to reach a potential 330 million customers in West Africa and serve as a “key factor of future internet growth” in the region.

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East and Africa, said: “Orange is actively contributing to the development of undersea and terrestrial infrastructure which enable the African continent’s digital transformation, by investing €1 billion each year.

“With Djoliba, local populations will be able to access healthcare or educational services more easily, as well as the applications offered by cloud computing. Development of access to digital technology is a key challenge for Africa and I would like to congratulate our teams in all the countries for their remarkable work that has enabled the Djoliba project to come to fruition.”

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