Orange announces the landing of a new transatlantic submarine cable in France


After starting the year by describing its intention to play a leading role in the connectivity route from the United States to Europe, Orange announced that it had laid the Amitie submarine telecommunications cable on a beach in the municipality. du Porge, near Bordeaux, France.

Orange is a partner in this state-of-the-art 6,800 km cable project, which will link the US state of Massachusetts, Le Porge and Bude to the United Kingdom. Orange said it will benefit from two pairs of fiber optic cables as part of the new network system, offering a capacity of up to 23 Tbps each.

As the company responsible for the French part of the cable, the landing supplier, Orange is in charge of the operation and maintenance of the system’s landing station. The French operator will provide the system’s land links, from its station near Bordeaux, then Paris and Lyon, and it will connect to the rest of Europe through a land network using what it says is an optical network. “Cutting edge” technology. Commissioning is scheduled for early 2022.

“With this new agreement, we are once again demonstrating our skills and expertise in transatlantic submarine cables,” said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, responsible for international networks and services at Orange. “In the context of the boom in international traffic, the arrival of these increasingly high-performance state-of-the-art submarine cables, and given the strategic issues and national sovereignty related to submarine cables, Orange must continue to play a leading role in the world market. and develop infrastructures to connect France to other continents.

Orange believes that thanks to the Amitie cable, it can play a leading role in the transatlantic market by offering a completely secure end-to-end connection between Europe and the United States. Fiber optic technology is provided by two high speed cables: Amitie, plus the Dunant system, which was recently put into service in Vendée.

Orange is therefore confident of being able to offer all its private, professional, business and operator customers a connection solution between France and the United States, unique in terms of performance and reliability. Orange calculates that on average, traffic between Europe and North America doubles every two years, and it has seen an unprecedented increase in traffic during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Orange considers the Amitie cable to be crucial to cope with the future increase in traffic on the various networks. It ensures that the arrival of this cutting-edge cable will provide full redundancy and that the cable is also designed to keep pace with future generations of optical transmission technologies. Orange claims that it will be able to maintain a high level of performance for at least the next 20 years.

The cable was finally connected after two first failed attempts due to inclement weather, with better conditions allowing Orange to land the cable using a technical process, horizontal directional drilling, supposed to protect the environment but presenting a huge technological challenge.

This essential project for Orange was implemented with a focus on the environment. The design of the project took into account the nature of the sites involved – beaches, dunes and forests – and used technology to avoid impacting the ecosystem and local flora and fauna. Horizontal directional drilling was carried out 20 m below the beach and dunes. The route to the landing station has been optimized to avoid impacting the forest, using existing paths and the edges of local roads.

Orange says the arrival of cable represents an excellent opportunity for the landing region, which will become an international digital hub, enabling the creation of new data centers to support the growth of the local digital ecosystem. The operator says that thanks to the support of local partners, local authorities and State services, he was able to launch the project by combining agility and efficiency, and by reusing part of the existing infrastructure to minimize works and limit the impact on local residents. and the environment.

Fabienne Buccio, prefect of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and prefect of Gironde, declared: “For the Amitie project led by Orange, the decentralized services of the State have joined forces in the Gironde to coordinate public and private partners. This is an excellent example of public-private cooperation to create value and technological innovation that demonstrates the industrial capabilities of our country. This project is part of a national policy of attracting electronic communications cables. Despite the pandemic, the project was completed on time and paves the way for other cables along our coast. “