Orange announces the landing of the AMITIE submarine cable on a beach in the commune of Le Porge, near Bordeaux (Gironde). This 6,800 km state-of-the-art cable project, which will connect the state of Massachusetts (USA), Le Porge (France), and Bude (UK) is scheduled for commission in early 2022.
“With this new agreement, we are yet again demonstrating our skills and expertise in transatlantic submarine cables. Against the backdrop of a boom in international traffic, the arrival of these increasingly efficient cutting-edge submarine cables, and in view of the strategic and national sovereignty issues linked to submarine cables, Orange must continue to play a leading role in the global market and develop infrastructure to connect France to other continents,” explains Jean-Luc Vuillemin, head of International Networks and Services at Orange.
Orange will benefit from two pairs of fiber optic cables as part of this new system, offering a capacity of up to 23 Tbp/s each. As the player responsible for the French part of the cable, Orange is in charge of operating and maintaining the system’s landing station. The French operator will supply the system’s links on land, starting from this station towards Bordeaux, then Paris and Lyon, and it will link up to the rest of Europe thanks to a terrestrial network employing cutting-edge optical technology.
An opportunity for regional development
The arrival of this new mega cable near Bordeaux represents an excellent opportunity for the region, which will become an international digital hub, allowing new data centers to be created to support the growth of the local digital ecosystem.
Thanks to the support of local partners, local authorities, and state services, Orange was able to launch this project, by combining agility and efficiency, and by reusing part of the existing infrastructure to minimize the work and limit the impact on local residents and the environment.
"This is a great example of public-private cooperation to create value and technological innovation that demonstrates our nation's industrial capabilities. This project is part of a national policy to enhance the appeal of electronic communications cables. Despite the pandemic, the project was completed on time and it paves the way for further cables along our coast," Fabienne Buccio, prefect of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and prefect of Gironde.
A new cable to accommodate increased bandwidth
The AMITIE cable will be crucial to accommodate the future increase in traffic on different networks. On average, the traffic between Europe and North America doubles every two years, and it has experienced an unprecedented increase in traffic during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the busiest submarine routes in terms of connectivity. Thus, guaranteeing continued and reliable traffic is also crucial. The arrival of this state-of-the-art cable will offer full redundancy in this zone and is designed to evolve at the same pace as future generations of optical transmission technologies. It will be able to maintain a high level of performance for at least the next 20 years.
A major player in the submarine cable market
Orange continues to invest heavily in submarine cable projects to guarantee and continually improve the quality of service of its global network, comprising over 40 submarine cables. After recent projects on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, this new cable places France at the heart of the European platform used by various international networks to link not only to America but also Africa and Asia.