The cable will be built by a consortium including Facebook and major international and local operators
Plans have today been announced for the construction of the 2Africa cable, pegged to be “the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region”.
Travelling eastwards from its origin in France, the 37,000 km 2Africa cable will connect 23 countries as it passed through Egypt and the Middle East, circumnavigates Africa, connects to Spain and finally to the UK.
The cable is a joint project by China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC and is expected to go live by 2023/4.
Particularly notable about this build is the creation of a new crossing – the first in over a decade – linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, allowing for improved performance across this stretch of the cable.
New technology in the form of SDM1, supplied by Alcatel Submarine Networks, will be utilised, allowing the deployment of 16 fibre pairs compared to the eight pairs of previous technologies. A 50% deeper burial depth will also help to avoid typical subsea disturbance.
"2Africa is a major element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online to a faster internet,” said Najam Ahmad, VP of Network Infrastructure at Facebook. “2Africa is a key pillar supporting this tremendous internet expansion as part of Africa’s surging digital economy."
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