Orange to build Caribbean cable and connect homes to fibre
Orange is to build a 1,900km subsea cable connecting French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe as part of an investment programme that will also see the company expand its fibre and 4G plan.
Stéphane Richard, Orange’s CEO, announced the plan during a trip to French Guiana, the territory on the South American mainland that is legally part of France.
The company has already connected 3,000 homes with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in French Guiana’s main city, Cayenne, and will cover 100% of the homes in Cayenne and also Remire-Monjoly.
“Today, French Guiana is one of the regions with the most dynamic demographics in France,” said Richard. “It is to accompany the growth of traffic that Orange will invest €35 million to deploy a new submarine cable between Kourou in Guyana, Martinique and Guadeloupe.”
Kourou is the site of Arianespace’s space port from which many communications satellites have been launched.
The new subsea cable, due to be in service by the second half of next year, will also interconnect with the East Caribbean Fibre System (ECFS) to give French Guiana a direct link to the American continent. French Guiana is also connected to the Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System (SGSCS).
This additional EFCS connection will make it possible to secure more traffic to and from the US, which represents more than 80% of the volume, said Richard in Cayenne.
The new cable will have two pairs of fibres that will eventually be able to operate at 5Tbps. “The group will offer access to this cable to all internet service providers that wish to connect,” said Orange.
At the same time Orange says it has increased its plans for 4G coverage of the area to 80% of the population.