A New Era of Subsea Connectivity
Orange, a major investor in over 40 submarine cables, has reinforced its global connectivity and resilience through two game-changing trans-Atlantic submarine cables: Dunant and Amitié
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s busiest network routes in terms of increased bandwidth needs and connectivity, with over 80% of internet traffic generated in France coming from the US.
The traffic between North America and Europe doubles every two years on average, and this route has supported an unprecedented traffic surge during the first lockdown period of the current Covid pandemic. Owning capacity on this route is therefore strategic to support traffic growth in the coming years.
Orange, which has boosted its global submarine credentials and expertise, has taken a leading role in the US to Europe routes and has played a double role as co-investor and supplier.
As the landing provider for the French part of the Dunant and AMITIÉ cables, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the landing stations for both cables. It will also benefit from two fibre pairs on both trans-Atlantic systems, with a total capacity of up to 100Tbps, which represents 15 million HD movies downloaded simultaneously.
The 6,600km Dunant cable, a Google project announced back in March 2020, was named in honour of Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross and first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The landing of the Dunant cable, which connects Virginia Beach in the US to Orange’s La Parée Préneau cable landing station in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez on the French Atlantic coast, represents a new first. It is the first long-haul cable to feature a 12-fibre pair space-division multiplexing (SDM) design.
Each of Dunant’s 12 fibre pairs has a record-breaking capacity of over 30Tbps, meaning it has three times more capacity over each fibre pair compared to the previous generation of cables. Orange received an IRU of two fibre pairs for the entire length of the cable system. Since Dunant became ready for service (RFS) in January 2021, Orange has been supporting its wholesale and business customers address the surge in data and content needs between the US and Europe.
Orange has also signed a partnership on the AMITIÉ cable, which is planned to be RFS at the beginning of 2022. Pending the approval from the local authorities in the US, the cable shall link Massachusetts to le Porge, near Bordeaux.
The AMITIE submarine cable with its 16 fibre pairs of up to 23Tbps of capacity each, will ensure resiliency and traffic continuity on this vital and important axis. With the arrival of a new mega cable near Bordeaux, the area will transform into a new international digital hub, fostering the implantation of new data centres to support the region’s digital ecosystem.
Following recent projects in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, the arrival of this new cable places France at the heart of the European hub, from which many international networks set off for America, but also Africa and Asia.
Both cables will have more capacity than all existing systems currently in service on the trans-Atlantic front, with Orange offering capacity between Ashburn, the data centre alley, and Paris. Orange is supplying land links for both systems from the landing station to Bordeaux and then on to Paris and Lyon respectively.
Furthermore, both cables are designed to evolve at the same pace as future generations of point-to-point optical transmission technology and will be able to maintain high-level performance for at least the next 20 years.
Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Executive Vice President of Orange International Networks, Infrastructures and Services
(pictured), said: “In the context of the explosion of international traffic, the arrival of a new generation of more
efficient submarine cables, and in view of strategic issues and national sovereignty related to submarine cables, Orange continues to be a key global player. With capacity on these two cables, Orange will be able to offer the latest technology, diverse routes and the best latency to its customers once implemented.”
With customers all over the world, Orange’s global network footprint connects more than 450 points of presence (PoP) with 45,000km of fibre across Europe, the US, Africa and Asia.Through its subsidiary, Orange Marine, the company also has access to a fleet of survey and cable ships, and internationally-recognised expertise, placing it at the heart of deployment and maintenance for these connections, which are vital to all of its communications.