World’s Longest Subsea Cable, 2Africa, Lands In South Africa

A consortium of big name tech firms have succeeded in expanding Internet connectivity for the African continent this week.

MTN GlobalConnect announced that the world’s longest undersea cable, 2Africa, made landfall last week at Yzerfontein and Duynefontein in South Africa.

The 2Africa cable is owned by a consortium that includes firms such as MTN GlobalConnect, Meta Platforms (Facebook), China Mobile International, Orange, center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.

2Africa cable

Announced in 2020, the 2Africa cable, has been described as the “most comprehensive” subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region.

When completed, the 2Africa cable will stretch 45,000 km (27,961,704 miles) long, and runs from Europe through the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean (going completely around the African continent), and then back into Europe via the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

It will serve 33 markets and have at least 47 landing stations.

Alcatel Submarine Networks is building 2Africa and its extensions using a new technology called Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM).

The cable, with a design capacity of up to 180 TBps. on key parts of the system, will deliver much-needed internet capacity, reliability, and improved internet performance across large parts of Africa; and will supplement capacity demand in the Middle East.

The 180 TBps capacity of Africa2 is 36Tbps faster than Google’s Equiano cable.

The 2Africa cable connection will go live in 2023.

Demand driven

“Data traffic across African markets is expected to grow between four and five fold over the next 5 years, so we need infrastructure and capacity to meet that level of growth and demand,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.

“MTN GlobalConnect is pleased to participate in this bold 2Africa subsea cable project,” added MTN GlobalConnect CEO Frédéric Schepens. “The initiative complements our terrestrial fibre strategy to connect African countries to each other and to the rest of the world.”

“We are building scale infrastructure assets to meet the explosive growth in data traffic and accelerate the digital economy on the continent, by creating a pan-African fibre railroad driving affordable connectivity,” said Schepens.

The 2Africa subsea cable system will support both the western and eastern sides of Africa, once complete in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

This means that South African service providers can acquire capacity in carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Google Invests $350m In India’s Flipkart

Google becomes minority shareholder in Walmart-owned Amazon competitor Flipkart as it progresses investment plans in…

49 mins ago

Boeing Starliner Set For 1 June Crewed Launch

Crewed flight of Boeing's Starliner planned to be final test to certify long-delayed vehicle for…

1 hour ago

Travel, Retail Firms Say EU Rules Slash Their Google Traffic

Airline, hotel, retail firms say their interests must be taken into account in Google's implementation…

2 hours ago

Elon Musk’s xAI In Funding Round Valuing It At $24bn

Elon Musk artificial intelligence start-up xAI set to conclude funding round valuing it at $24bn…

2 hours ago

TikTok Cuts ‘Hundreds’ Of Jobs

TikTok to cut jobs from operations and marketing teams amidst broader ByteDance restructuring, as it…

3 hours ago

Google To Begin Manufacturing Pixel Smartphones In India

Google set to begin Pixel smartphone manufacturing in Indian state of Tamil Nadu as electronics…

3 hours ago