Africa to benefit from new subsea cable
A new subsea cable system aimed at improving internet connectivity in Africa and the Middle East is set to go live between 2023 and 2024.
Dubbed 2Africa, the system is a joint effort by China Mobile International, social media giant Facebook, South Africa-based MTN GlobalConnect, international telcos Orange and Vodafone, Telecom Egypt, and the West Indian Ocean Cable Company.
The partners have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks to build the system, in a fully funded project that will greatly enhance connectivity across Africa and the Middle East.
2Africa will provide nearly three times the total network capacity of all the subsea cables serving Africa today. It will also supplement a rapidly increasing demand for capacity in the Middle East and support further growth of 4G, 5G and broadband access for hundreds of millions of people.
Jessica Gu, director and chief technology officer of China Mobile International, said: “The utmost capacity and faster transmission allows us to satisfy the needs of African nations today and in the future, reflecting our firm commitment to building a global digital life.”
Najam Ahmad, VP of network infrastructure at Facebook, said: “We are excited to be collaborating with our 2Africa partners on the most comprehensive subsea cable that will serve the continent. 2Africa is a major element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online to a faster internet.
“We have seen first-hand the positive impact that increased connectivity has on communities, from education to healthcare. We know that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for businesses. 2Africa is a key pillar supporting this tremendous internet expansion as part of Africa’s surging digital economy.”
Frédéric Schepens, CEO of African mobile company MTN Group’s wholesale operation, MTN GlobalConnect, said: “MTN GlobalConnect is delighted to participate in this bold project. This initiative complements MTN GlobalConnect’s terrestrial fibre strategy to connect African countries to each other and to the rest of the world. We are proud to be playing a key role in providing the benefits of a modern connected life – a core MTN belief.”
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, added: “As one of the world’s leading multi-service telecommunications operators and present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East, it was natural for Orange to be part of the 2Africa project.
“This major investment will complete our existing submarine and Pan-African terrestrial infrastructures to provide access to international connectivity in a redundant fashion throughout the west coast of Africa. It will enable Orange to securely meet the demand for increased bandwidth necessary for the continued digital development of regions throughout the 2Africa system.”