Orange Marine is specialized in the field of submarine telecommunications from the initial design and engineering, to installation of intercontinental and regional links, and maintenance of existing cables.
In operation since the mid-nineteenth century, the submarine cable industry FCR – France Cables and Radio – became a 100% subsidiary of Orange Group in 1999. The Orange Marine fleet is one of the most experienced in the world and represents 15% of the world fleet.
In total, Orange Marine has installed more than 160,000 kilometers of fibre optic submarine cables in all oceans. The ships carried over 540 repairs on routes, some of which by 5.500 meters of depth.
In October 2010, Orange takes control of Elettra, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia. Its management is delegated to Orange Marine, which now operates 6 cable ships from marine bases or from foreign ports.
The legal structure of Orange Marine manages several companies, all 100% subsidiaries, including Chamarel Marine Services and SIMEC, which designs, manufactures and operates submarine vehicles (ROV, ploughs, trenchers and crawlers).
Through the development of its submarine network, Orange contributes to the development of a global network of high quality. These cables are vital arteries of transmission enabling the Group to have powerful tools at controlled costs to meet the growing needs of customers. The economic issues of the installation and maintenance of submarine cables are high. They represent a key asset for the Group’s objective to democratize access to the Internet, particularly in Africa, where it is already present in twenty countries.
Fibre optic submarine cables span the globe and total more than 1,000,000 km of infrastructure on the ocean floor, enough to stretch around the world 25 times. Through those submarine cables, about 2 million videos can pass along on the bandwidth.
The total carrying capacity of submarine cables is in the terabits per second, while satellites typically offer only megabits per second and display higher latency. The reliability of submarine cables is high, especially when multiple paths are available in the event of a cable break.
Installation contracts are signed after bids from consortia.
Orange Marine provides a complete service: installation file in response to tenders, customer negotiation, project engineering, project management of bathymetric surveys, route selection, evaluation of resources (crews and technical teams, ship, cable lengths etc.), completion of the installation, shore ends on the coasts and connection to ground stations, complete reporting.
On maintenance ships, the crew on duty are ready to sail, 24/7, 365 days a year with less than 24 hours’ notice to operate any repair needed.
The onshore services provide support and expertise needed to conduct operations.
In addition to these core businesses of installation and maintenance of cables, the Company provides global services in various fields of activity:
- Survey and development of routes and charts (in partnership with the French Oceanographic company IFREMER), route clearance (elimination of obstacles and old cables) from chartered vessels;
- Burial by plough during installation down to 3 m, at 2,000 m of depth;
- Post lay (or repair) inspection and burial – PLIB – with ROV;
- Studies and suggestions for improvement of existing installations, then remedial operations.
- Cables are reliable communication canals, which allow thousands of people to exchange large amounts of secured data
- Transmission delays are very short despite the distances
- Cable make it possible to connect countries of different continents
- Satellites allow mostly to broadcast the same information to a large number of people (i.e.: TV)
- Satellites connect the French overseas departments and several Orange countries to the general network. These connections are either main links where there is no submarine cable (Saint-Pierre et Miquelon) or lines for security or absorption of additional traffic that supplement the cable(s),
- Satellite links are also used throughout the world to provide fixed broadband access in areas where terrestrial infrastructure is not available.