The submarine fibre cable system, set to be the longest in the world, will be ready for service in 2024
The 2Africa cable was first announced back in 2020, set to span around 37,000km as is travels south from the UK, circumnavigating Africa, before travelling back through the Red Sea and into the Mediterranean.
Since then, numerous additional branches to the system have been announced, with additional landings planned for the Canary Islands, the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, Angola, Nigeria, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia.
In total, the project is now expected to reach 45,000km in length, which would make it comfortably the largest submarine cable system in the world. Including its various expansions, 2Africa will now land at 46 locations around the world and is now expected to serve over 3 billion people.
Alcatel Submarine Networks is overseeing the deployment of the cable itself.
Now, this ambitious project is finally beginning to come to life, with the 2Africa consortium announcing the system’s first official landing in Genoa, Italy.
Vodafone, the company in charge of the Genoa landing, has partnered with data centre specialists Equinix to land the cable directly into Equinix’s Carrier Neutral Data Center. From there, an unnamed Italian operator will develop a new terrestrial route to deliver traffic from this data centre to other major data centres in Milan.
Service providers in Genoa will gain access to the cable’s services on a fair and equitable basis, as will be the case with all of the cable’s landings worldwide.
According to this latest press release, the next landing stations are set to be announced in the coming months, with the system itself reportedly on target to go live in 2024.
In addition to Vodafone, the 2Africa consortium also includes China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, and WIOCC.
What impact will the 2Africa cable have for Africa’s connectivity and how will it impact the wider submarine cable industry? Find out from the experts at this year’s live Submarine Networks EMEA event