The ACE cable was officially put into service in Benin at a ceremony organized by the ICT ministry. Connection equipment was started up at the cable’s landing station in Cotonou in the presence of the country’s president, Thomas Boni Yayi.
Alcatel Submarine Networks brought the cable to the country in April. The US$ 35m project was financed by the World Bank’s International Development Agency, the state of Benin and the Benin ACE consortium comprising operators Benin Telecom, MTN, Etisalat and Libercom; Internet Service Providers: OTI, EIT, Univercell and Isocel. It was set up within the framework of the West African Regional Communication Infrastructure Project (WARCIP) and is the second undersea cable connecting Benin after SAT3, which went live in 2002.
The ACE (African Coast to Europe) submarine communications cable is a cable system along the west coast of Africa between France and South Africa managed by a consortium of 19 operators & administrations headed by Orange. The consortium agreement was signed on June 5, 2010. The cable was manufactured by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and was laid by ships from ASN and France Telecom Marine. The first phase of the 17,000 km-long fiber optic cable was put in service on December 15, 2012, with an official inauguration ceremony held on December 19, 2012 in Banjul, The Gambia.
The ACE Cable will eventually connect 23 countries, either directly for coastal countries or through land links for landlocked countries, like Mali and Niger.