A5_Orange Marine_Entete article EN

Powering global subsea connectivity with Orange Marine


Orange Wholesale’s global connectivity force now includes one of Orange’s trump cards in connecting the world: Orange Marine. Enjoying one of the largest commercial cable ship fleets in the business, these seafarers lay thousands of kilometers of cable under all Seven Seas, in complete independence from other stakeholders in this trade. To ensure the sustainability of global connectivity, they also provide any customer, with vital submarine cable-repairing and cable-maintenance services in addition to cable laying, on a 24/7/365 basis.

Meet the captain

didier-dillard-orange-marine-ceo“Our maintenance contract customers always know where our ships are at all times, and they have priority”

Didier Dillard, CEO Orange Marine

What is Orange Marine’s culture about?

We’re hands-on. Among Orange Marine’s 300 employees, three-quarters are seafaring on the Seven Seas. When they set sail, it’s for one or two months, working day and night. This business has existed for decades at Orange.

What are your customers’ expectations?

Generally, the main expectation of our customers is to deal with experienced professionals of marine installation or marine repairs of subsea cables, who will be capable to carry out their job on time and on budget and manage all the contingencies of such operations, which is exactly what we usually do. There are small projects, under 300 km, where there is no need for a repeater. In these cases, we can do everything ourselves, we buy the cable and do the design and installation. For larger projects, when you have repeaters, we let the manufacturers or our colleagues in charge of Orange international networks who have the necessary expertise step in and act as contractors. For operators with less experience in submarine cables, our selling point is to say that we are here to do it all, end-to-end: maritime operations, surveys, engineering, and customer relations with our teams across the world.

What sets Orange Marine apart from other market players?

We’re an operator with a significant fleet with small, medium and large ships for all kinds of projects. We almost always have a ship available for urgent missions. We’re one of the two biggest neutral cable-layers, not tied with any manufacturer. We work all over the world, on every sea. We also have experience and expertise. We’re one of the players who have laid the most submarine cables, we have a very extensive track record, we do all types of cable-laying jobs and maintenance jobs. Finally, technically, we have a modern fleet, and our submarine robots are among the best on the market, because we build them ourselves. In fact, we sell them to a number of international operators.

You described the "projects" part of the business; what about the "maintenance" part?

Our areas of presence for subsea cable repairs and maintenance are the entire Atlantic, with the addition of the Pacific zone off South America as far as Chile, and the south-western Indian Ocean as far as Kenya. And then the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Black Sea. Our maintenance contract customers always know where our ships are at all times, and they have priority. The primary mission of the cable ship we’ve just inaugurated, the Sophie Germain, is cable repairs, even if she can also lay small links. It helps us reduce our carbon emissions, because unlike the laying vessels often used for these missions, it’s not oversized, it’s not ageing, and it is equipped with an electric auxiliary battery that reduces fuel consumption by 20 to 30%.

One of the largest cable-laying and repairing forces globally

264,000 km

of fiber optic subsea cable laid


repairs of the last 15 years including


meter-deep operations


100+ years

of experience


of the world’s cable ships’ fleet


cable ships and 1 survey vessel


home ports


Keeping the web worldwide: how Orange Marine fixed subsea data traffic in Southern Africa

As Didier Dillard, Orange Marine CEO, told us: in the subsea cable maintenance business, sometimes, when it rains, it pours. This is exactly what happened in August 2023 when not one, not two, but three major subsea cables were severed by a landslide in the underwater Congo Canyon, as the main East African cable was also being repaired. Internet connections were disrupted as far away as in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Réunion island. In this emergency situation, the Orange Wholesale teams stepped in.

  • 17 days later, on August 24, our vessel Léon Thévenin, the only African cable ship in the industry, set sail from Cape Town, after completing another urgent repair off Kenya
  • 6 days later, the ship arrived on the first site, after a journey of 1,800 nautical miles
  • 2 days later, the first cable displaced kms away from its initial position by the landslide was recovered,
  • 17 days later, the 3 cables were fixed,
  • The same day, September 9, normal internet traffic through the cables was back to normal


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