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Orange announces submarine cable linking US East Coast to France

Global telco claims significant reinforcement of connectivity and resilience on what it says is the most important submarine route in the world, with two next-generation transatlantic submarine cables

Claiming to be taking a leading role in the US to Europe connectivity route, global telco Orange has announced plans to build a communications cable linking Massachusetts in the US to le Porge near Bordeaux.

Pending the approval from the local authorities in the US, the new AMITIÉ cable is scheduled to be ready for service at the beginning of 2022, offering 16 fibre pairs with up to 23 Tbps of capacity each, both having more capacity than all existing systems currently in service on the transatlantic front.

The new link is designed to ensure resiliency and traffic continuity on what Orange calls a vital and important axis. The Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s busiest routes in terms of connectivity with more than 80% of internet traffic generated in France coming from the US, and Orange calculates that traffic between North America and Europe doubles every two years on average, adding that the route has supported an unprecedented traffic surge during the first lockdown period of the current Covid pandemic. As a result, Orange says that owning capacity on the route is strategic to support traffic growth in the coming years.

The AMITIÉ submarine cable plans come after the landing of the Dunant cable across the Atlantic Ocean. A Google Cloud project announced in March 2020, the Dunant cable is now ready for service for wholesale and business customers offering two fibre pairs with more than 30 Tbps of capacity each, multiplying by three the previous generation of transatlantic submarine cables capacity.

Both cables are designed to evolve at the same pace as future generations of optical transmission technology and will be able to maintain high-level performance for at least the next 20 years. Orange will benefit from two fibre pairs on both transatlantic systems, with a total capacity of up to 100 Tbits, which, said Orange, represents 15 million high-definition films downloaded simultaneously.

As the landing provider, Orange will be responsible for the French section of the two cables, and be in charge of the operation and maintenance of the landing stations. With the arrival of a new mega cable near Bordeaux, it says that the area will transform into a new international digital hub, fostering the construction of new datacentres to support the region’s digital ecosystem.

The French operator will supply land links for both systems from the landing station to Bordeaux and then to Paris and Lyon for one, and will offer capacity between Ashburn, the datacentre alley and Paris with point-to-point optical transmission technology.

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With the reinforced transatlantic presence, Orange now offers a global end-to-end, fully secured connectivity solution between Europe and the United States.

With its optical fibre-pairs on two new generation ultra-high-speed cable systems, Orange says that it can serve consumer, wholesale and business markets in Europe and in America, with a unique, low latency global France – US connectivity solution, performant and redundant.

“In the context of the explosion of international traffic, the arrival of a new generation of more efficient submarine cables, and in view of strategic issues and national sovereignty related to submarine cables, Orange continues to be a key global player,” said Jean-Luc Vuillemin executive vice president of Orange International networks, infrastructures and services commenting on the launch.

“With capacity on these two cables, Orange will be able to offer the latest technology, diverse routes and the best latency to its customers once implemented.”

Orange’s global network footprint now connects more than 300 Points of Presence, with 45,000 km of fibre across Europe, the US, Africa and Asia.

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