- Developed by Orange MEA at cost of €1bn
A new pan-African fibre optic network named Djibola, developed and recently launched by Orange Middle East and Africa (MEA), is offering the promise of being able to connect the West African cities of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic and financial capital, Dakar (Senegal), Bamako (Mali), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and Accra (Ghana).
The new backbone will cover eight countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. The cross-border network will provide a service between two capitals, operators had to integrate the offers of several providers and join several different networks, which were interconnected at the borders.
Orange isa major telecoms operator in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East (MEA), with 124 million customers, unveiledDjoliba, its first pan-African fibre optic network, a terrestrial fibre optic network, couples with undersea cables, offering secure connectivity abroad from Qwest Africa.
Djoliba is being presented as the first network offering complete security in West Africa with more than 10,000 km of terrestrial fibre optic network, coupled with 10,000 km of undersea cables, superfast broadband provision (up to 100 Gbit/s) and a 99.99 percent availability rate. The network covers 16 points of presence with a grid of nearly 155 technical sites, and connects 300 points of presence in Europe, America and Asia.
It is based on Orange’s Tier 1 network, and provides a seamless connection to the group’s international networks.
JérômeBarré, chief executive officer, Orange wholesale & international networks, said at a virtual press conference: “With Djoliba, Orange is once again confirming its expertise and leadership in the deployment and operation of international terrestrial and undersea networks. Consequently, all the operators, companies, and institutions in West Africa now benefit from seamless connectivity that is open to the whole world, thanks to a single customer point of contact and unparalleled service availability.”
AliouneNdiaye, chief executive officer, Orange Middle East and Africa, also said at the virtual media conference, which included Business A.M., that Orange was able to achieve the feat with over €1 billion euros.
With 5.6 billion euros of revenues in 2019, and with an average annual growth rate of 6 percent, Orange MEA is the first growth area in the Orange group.
Djoliba aims to support the digital ecosystem and meets the growing needs for connectivity in the West Africa region, and will be operated and maintained from Dakar (Senegal) for greater efficiency, responsiveness and proximity.
According to Ndiaye, with Djoliba, local populations will be able to access healthcare or educational services more easily, as well as the applications offered by cloud computing.
“Development of access to digital technology is a key challenge for Africa, and I would like to congratulate our teams in all the countries for their remarkable work that has enabled the Djoliba project to come to fruition,” he said.
Orange Group is continuing its investment on the continent to offer reliable, secure and high-quality connectivity, and contribute to the populations’ digital inclusion. Orange Money, its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries, and has 54 million customers. Orange, multi-services operator, key partner of the digital transformation, provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East. The telecoms group recorded 42 billion euros in sales last year (2019), operating with 143,000 employees worldwide as of 30 June this year. Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).