The 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, announced the first landing of the 2Africa cable – in Genoa, Italy.
At 45,000km, 2Africa will be the longest subsea cable ever deployed, connecting Europe, Africa and Asia. It will serve communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare to business, unlocking greater economic and social benefits.
Live version of the map here.
The project will triple existing subsea network capacity and will come ashore in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Ghana and even the perenially unstable Somalia, the consortium said, boosting the continent’s ability to build out high-speed 4G, 5G and fixed broadband capacity. Completion is expected by early 2024.
According to the organisers, the system is expected to go live between 2023 and 2024, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.
Whilst not yet in use, the 2Africa submarine communications cable network is already one of the biggest in the world, wonder where the others lie?
The technology is not without its controversies though. Heat, electromagnetic emissions, noise and chemical pollution are possibly contributing to the loss or damage of submarine habitats, with research on the matter only picking up in the last couple of years even though undersea cables have been around for over a century.
The 2Africa cable system is expected to go live in 2023/4. The hashtag to be monitored on Twitter to follow the discussions around the development of the project is #2africa. For now 445 tweets from the first landing in Genoa.