In South Africa’s Eastern Cape, the 2Africa subsea cable has landed at Vodacom’s network facility in Gqeberha. The first submarine cable to land in the Eastern Cape area has the potential to boost connectivity throughout the province and help South Africa’s expanding digital economy.
The 2Africa cable, which is scheduled to be finished in 2024, is being manufactured and deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).
Eight international partners, including China Mobile International, Meta (Facebook), MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3 (stc), Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom, and WIOCC, have joined forces with the 2Africa Consortium to create 2Africa.
Launched in May 2022, the subsea cable project aims to significantly increase the capacity, quality, and availability of Internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world.
“This latest 2Africa cable landing affirms Vodacom’s commitment to driving digital inclusion in Africa by increasing access to quality internet services and investing in the network infrastructure to support this goal,” said Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom Group Chief Officer International Markets. “We cannot achieve this alone, and collaboration between other industry stakeholders and the public sector is critical in enabling more citizens across the continent to be connected.”
The Middle East, India, Pakistan, Africa
Through the 2Africa landing at Gqeberha, service providers would be able to obtain capacity on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy Internet ecosystem. Data centers, businesses, and wholesale clients can then receive direct international access. Businesses and consumers would gain from better quality, reliability, and reduced latency for Internet services, including telecommuting, high-definition video streaming, and advanced multimedia and mobile video applications, after the fiber cable infrastructure has been implemented.
The 45,000 kilometers long cable 2Africa system, which connects Europe to the east via Egypt, the Middle East via Saudi Arabia, and Africa via its 180Tbps design capacity. Essentially, 2Africa will link 33 nations, including 33 outside of Africa. There are four landings in South Africa and two in each of Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Egypt, giving the system a total of 46 landings overall and 27 in Africa.
2Africa would provide much-needed Internet capacity and reliability across much of the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and Africa, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people. It will deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today. By the fourth quarter of 2023, the Gqeberha branch of the 2Africa East cable system is anticipated to be operational and ready for service.
“Vodacom Group is pleased to be working with our partners in the 2Africa project to bring faster, more reliable internet to local businesses and consumers while helping to build an inclusive digital society on the continent and around the world,” added Mr. Gutierrez. “The subsea cable system enables more communities to access transformative online resources, from education and healthcare to jobs and financial services, and experience seamless connectivity’s economic and social benefits.”