The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable is now live and available for interconnection at all three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa, expanding access to broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa. ACE is the eighth submarine cable system to connect at Teraco, highlighting its position as the leading hyper-connected digital hub on the African continent. Spanning approximately 17,000 km along the west coast of Africa, ACE connects to 24 countries before back-hauling via MTN South Africa, the landing partner, into Africa’s home of the cloud, Teraco.
Commissioned to support the cost-effective delivery of broadband services and digital applications for education, healthcare and other e-services, ACE reaches an estimated 410 million people, equivalent to 5.16% of the total world population. Thirteen of the 16 countries connected by ACE are in Africa. Of those 13, seven were connected to the global internet backbone for the first time by the cable system.
Michelle McCann, head of interconnection and peering, Teraco, says that South Africa is a critical hub for access to services for sub-Saharan Africa: “Our position as the hyperconnected co-location provider in Africa allows us to address the increasingly demanding level of global data transit. This platform sets us apart as one of Africa’s leading modern hybrid architecture platforms.”
She says that there is a notable shift towards a more interconnected offering, making Teraco’s African cloud exchange vital as it links enterprise systems and data with networks, cloud providers, platforms and cable systems: “Data centres like ours act as the perfect neutral hub for interconnection and data exchange. It’s here that onramps and switching points from many different cloud providers and network operators meet, and as companies increasingly embrace a hybrid infrastructure, the integration and interconnection between the different systems and platforms play a much more important role.”
According to McCann, this interconnectedness within data centres now provides organisations with opportunities to more effectively address their digital transformation and the speed within which this is done: “ACE is now equipped to offer 100 Gbps, maximising possibilities of interconnection to the internet. This increased capacity and reach across Africa will bring a direct benefit to data-driven organisations, while also supporting further development across the internet ecosystem.”
McCann also says that the timing is key, as South Africa’s cloud uptake consistently increases due to the digital transformation taking place across most business sectors: “ACE is playing a critical role in the infrastructure development of the continent. Using the most advanced, high-speed broadband fibre-optic technology enables the cable capacity to be increased as and when needed without additional submarine work required.”
ACE represents a total investment of approximately USD 700 million and consists of two fibre pairs with a design capacity of 20Tbps. Latency is 145 milliseconds from Paris to Cape Town and 135 milliseconds from Lisbon to Cape Town.