The 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, announced today the addition of four new branches to the 2Africa cable. The branches will extend 2Africa’s connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, and Angola, and bring a new landing to south-east Nigeria. The new branches join the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands.
2Africa, which will be the largest subsea cable project in the world, will deliver faster, more reliable internet service to each country where it lands. Communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare, and business will experience the economic and social benefits that come from this increased connectivity.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new branches, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity into and around Africa. As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available to service providers at carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem.
Marine surveys completed for most of the cable and Cable manufacturing is underway
Since launching the 2Africa cable in May 2020, the 2Africa consortium has made considerable progress in planning and preparing for the deployment of the cable, which is expected to ‘go live’ late 2023. Most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete. ASN has started manufacturing the cable and building repeater units in its factories in Calais and Greenwich to deploy the first segments in 2022.
Egypt terrestrial crossing already completed
One of 2Africa’s key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing that interconnects landing sites on the Red and the Mediterranean Seas via two completely diverse terrestrial routes, has been completed ahead of schedule. A third diverse marine path will complement this segment via the Red Sea.
On December 5, 2020, Telecom Egypt successfully completed the end-to-end testing and delivery of 2Africa’s Egypt terrestrial crossing ahead of schedule, making it the first segment of the project in operation. This crossing will provide a seamless optical path between East Africa, Asia, and Europe. 2Africa will land in both Ras Ghareb in the Red Sea, which is located 100km south of the Zafarana cable landing station, and the Mediterranean landing site, Port Said, which is located 250km east of the Alexandria landing station. The two landing stations have now been interconnected via two new and completely diverse terrestrial routes, deploying next generation fibre. The new routes are adjacent to the Suez Canal, between Suez and Port Said, and will be complemented with a third new marine path that will link the Ras Ghareb and Suez landing stations, which is being built for further diversity.
The 2Africa Partners issue their formal Global Press Release announcing the launch of the 2Africa cable system. 2Africa is one of the largest subsea projects in the world, connecting 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and extending to Asia via the main Europe-to-Asia subsea cables.
The 2Africa tender process concluded and ASN were awarded the contract to build the 2Africa cable system.
The Investor Partners of 2Africa initiated the cable project with the signing of the MoU.