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MainOne West African submarine cable implements Infinera to boost spectrum capacity

Comms tech provider works with global operator to optimise performance on undersea cable serving as West African backbone network for Orange’s international connectivity in Africa

Days after it was revealed to have been working with Verizon on an 800Gbps long-distance fibre, Infinera’s submarine cable technology has been selected by Orange to increase spectrum capacity on its MainOne submarine network.

Designed to provide large-scale international capacity to support the development of a digital ecosystem in West Africa, MainOne is a next-generation, 7,000km submarine cable that connects Portugal, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria and serves as the West African backbone network for Orange’s international connectivity in Africa.

The MainOne cable spectrum is critical to delivering the international capacity needed between Europe and West Africa and plays an important role in leading the digital transformation of West Africa by providing operators with affordable connectivity to help drive economic development.

By deploying Infinera’s submarine solution, Orange said it was able to add capacity, scale as needed, and deploy services cost-effectively, resulting in improved and affordable services to its customers.

The technology is based on Infinera’s fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) on the XTS-3600 platform, which the company says delivers the capacity and reach required for high-performance submarine cable spectrum. It also uses the features of Infinera’s optical engine, which include Nyquist subcarriers, forward error correction gain sharing and photonic integrated circuit-based technology.

Instant bandwidth functionality has been introduced to enable ease of scalability and incremental capacity addition as needed, without requiring additional work on submarine infrastructure.

Infinera said the technology provides operators such as Orange with a “distinct” advantage that they can pass on to customers. Specifically, Infinera claimed that using its technology, Orange was able to increase its regional capacity significantly as well as improve the resilience of its submarine cables to provide its customers with enhanced connectivity and access to affordable new services.

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“This deployment with Orange reinforces our ability to consistently deliver the highest performance in terms of submarine capacity and reach with our industry-leading Infinite Capacity Engine technology,” said Nick Walden, senior vice-president, worldwide sales, at Infinera. “We remain committed to helping our customers cost-effectively keep pace with demand while lowering total cost of ownership.”

In its portfolio of undersea projects, MainOne complements the work Orange has been doing with the likes of Facebook, Vodafone, China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, STC, Telecom Egypt and WIOCC on 2Africa, claimed to be the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and the Middle East region.

2Africa is intended to enhance internet connectivity, capacity and reliability across Africa and the Middle East. The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

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