Orange Announces New Submarine Cable Connecting France and Tunisia

Orange to build subsea cable linking Bizerte, Tunisia, and Marseille, France, enhancing capacity for Tunisian telecoms.By Isaac K. Kassouwi, Ecofin Agency
April 18, 2023

(Ecofin Agency) – In 2013, Orange invested in a cable connecting Tunisia and Europe by signing an investment-sharing agreement with Ooredoo.  

Last week, French telecom operator Orange announced it would build a subsea cable linking the cities of Bizerte in Tunisia and Marseille in France. The new 1,050 km long infrastructure will provide an additional route of several fiber pairs with a capacity of 20 terabits each. It is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2025.

The project, whose cost was not disclosed, is co-financed by the European Commission (EC). “We are very pleased to have received for the first time the support of the European MIE program for this ambitious project. We are looking forward to putting our unique expertise in intercontinental submarine cables at the service of strategic infrastructure development between Europe and Africa,” said Michaël Trabbia, CEO of Orange Wholesale.

The new cable will strengthen Tunisia's national telecom infrastructure at a time when Tunisian telecom operators need more capacity to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and expand the coverage of their networks. In October 2022, Ooredoo Tunisia signed a partnership agreement with PCCW Global to connect to the PEACE submarine cable, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024.

The exploitation of the new infrastructure's capacities should enable Tunisian telecom operators, in particular Orange Tunisia, to offer customers significantly improved speed and data quality at a reduced cost. It should also allow mobile operators to connect thousands more people, including those living in “white spaces” that have no mobile coverage.

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