Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Connectivity

2Africa subsea cable gets even bigger

Article Image
The highly anticipated 2Africa subsea cable system is expanding even farther, adding four new branches to extend connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands and Angola, as well as adding a new landing in southeast Nigeria.

The 2Africa consortium is made up of tech heavyweights and major telcos including Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Vodafone, China Mobile International, Saudi Telecom (stc), Telecom Egypt and WIOCC.

The group announced its original plan for the 37,000km long cable in May 2020, saying it would interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt) and the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia) with 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa.

When it goes live in late 2023, 2Africa will be the largest subsea cable project in the world with promises to deliver faster, more reliable Internet service to each country where it lands.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), which is already building the system, has been selected to deploy the new branches as well. The new additions join the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands and will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity into and around Africa.

The consortium said that with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available to service providers at carrier-neutral data centers or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.

In addition, the consortium said that considerable progress in planning and preparing has been made and most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete.

ASN has started manufacturing the cable and building repeater units in its factories in Calais and Greenwich to deploy the first segments in 2022.

One of 2Africa's key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing that interconnects landing sites on the Red and the Mediterranean Seas via two completely diverse terrestrial routes, has been completed ahead of schedule. A third diverse marine path will complement this segment via the Red Sea.

Undersea escapades

Facebook has its hand in a number of undersea cables and on Monday announced it would partner with Google and PLDT to build the Apricot subsea cable system – connecting Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Apricot cable will span 12,000km and when linked up to 2Africa would have the potential to link African countries to Asian peers.

Silicon Valley's biggest companies are aiming to meet growing demand in Africa and Asia for 5G connectivity and broadband, by boosting investment in the regions with the greatest potential for growth.

Between them, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet are behind about four-fifths of investments at the moment in transatlantic data connections.

Altogether, there are about 400 subsea cables globally, which are responsible for nearly all the voice and Internet connections between countries.

Related posts:

*Top image is of the planned 2Africa Subsea Cable System (Source: MTN).

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa, with additional reporting by Pádraig Belton

Innovation hub

Story

Connecting Africa Podcast: Ep. 3 – Startups, funding and failing fast with Zachariah George

This week the team chats to Startupbootcamp AfriTech Co-Founder Zachariah George about venture capital and angel investing in Africa and what he is looking for in the next generation of tech startups.

Story

Orange opens Digital Centers in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon

Orange has launched two new Digital Centers, one in Côte d'Ivoire and another in Cameroon, with plans to open more in Africa this year and into 2022.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: September 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View covers Africell's Ugandan exit and MTC's Namibian stock exchange IPO; as well as Netflix's free Kenyan offering and a new broadband service in SA from Multichoice and MTN.

Story

Omdia View: August 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Upcoming webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up