The high-capacity Africa Coast to Europe (Ace) undersea cable will be extended to South Africa, with construction set to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
This is the word from MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, who said on Thursday that MTN has decided to join the Ace consortium.
Currently, the Ace cable, whose construction has been led by French telecommunications giant Orange, extends from France to Equatorial Guinea, connecting many nations in West Africa along its route.
MTN is committing about US$50m to the cable project, Dabengwa said.
The Ace consortium is in the process of conducting a survey of the seabed with a view to the work commencing early next year, he said.
The Ace cable follows a similar route to the West Africa Cable System, better known as Wacs, with the two cables set to compete head-on for business.
South Africa is increasingly well served by undersea cable systems, with Wacs, Sat-3 and soon Ace serving the western route to Europe and Seacom and Eassy serving the eastern route.
The first phase of the Ace cable, connecting West Africa and Europe, went live in late 2012.
Already, the Ace cable connects more than a dozen countries along its route. – © 2015 NewsCentral Media