By Adedapo Adesanya
Orange and its subsidiaries have announced the commissioning and commercial launch of Djoliba, the first pan-African backbone infrastructure based on a terrestrial fibre optic network, coupled with undersea cables, offering secure connectivity abroad from West Africa.
This investment aims to support the digital ecosystem and meets the growing needs for connectivity in the region.
Djoliba is the first unified superfast broadband network that provides seamless connectivity, with better availability thanks to network redundancy and security, and excellent quality of service.
It is operated and maintained from Dakar in Senegal for greater efficiency, responsiveness and proximity, it has a dedicated supervision centre.
This new backbone covers eight countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Natively interconnected with the domestic networks within the countries, this broad coverage will generalise access to connectivity for operators and companies.
Until now, telecommunications networks in West Africa were built inside each country, up to its borders: there was no cross-border network. To 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.
According to Orange, this new network is a true innovation that simplifies the interconnection processes between countries.
Djoliba will be the first network that offers complete security in West Africa with more than 10,000 kilometres 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 per cent availability rate.
This 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 therefore provides a seamless connection to the Group’s international networks.
By using the Djoliba network’s superfast broadband transmission, the network’s new customers will be able to access the Group’s platforms and benefit from the whole range of offers marketed by Orange in Africa: IP transit, mobile service platforms, hosting in Orange datacentres in Africa, VPN, etc.
With the aid of Djoliba, Orange will meet the needs of companies and telecommunication players in West Africa, to serve a potential 330 million inhabitants. This network is a key factor of future internet growth in West Africa because it will promote fair access to digital technology between West African countries and help stimulate the countries’ digital economy.
Speaking on this, Mr Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East and Africa said, “Orange is actively contributing to the development of undersea and terrestrial infrastructure which enable the African continent’s digital transformation, by investing 1 billion euros each year.
“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.”
Mr Jérôme Barré, CEO Orange Wholesale & International Networks: “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.
“Djoliba is the fruit of a group effort, and thanks to a fully mobilised cross-functional team, we have been able to meet this sizeable challenge.
“This human adventure illustrates the Orange Group’s strength, both due to its local presence through its subsidiaries and its capacity to build shared international assets.”
Orange is currently present in 18 African countries and has more than 120 million customers. The group is continuing its investment on the continent to offer reliable, secure and high-quality connectivity, and contribute to the populations’ digital inclusion.
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