Facebook and a group of telecom companies including China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange and Vodafone, are collaborating to build the cable christened, 2Africa.
When completed, it will be the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and the Middle East region.
The parties have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks (“ASN”) to build the cable in a fully funded project which will greatly enhance connectivity across Africa and the Middle East.
Ghana will benefit from a new undersea cable connecting 16 countries in Africa which promises more than the current total combined capacity of the continent’s current internet cables.
In a joint statement, the companies said they expect 2Africa to be completed by 2023 or early 2024. Once live, it should be able to deliver 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.
“At 37,000km long, 2Africa will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects and will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa,” the statement said.
“The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, 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. 2Africa will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, supplement the fast-growing capacity demand in the Middle East and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people”.
According to Frédéric Schepens, CEO of MTN Group’s wholesale operation, MTN GlobalConnect, “MTN GlobalConnect is delighted to participate in this bold 2Africa subsea cable 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.”