Data center colocation provider Equinix and telecommunications company Vodafone have planned to build a new subsea hub in Genoa, called GN1. Vodafone, which is the cable consortium’s lead for European landings, will land the ‘2Africa’ cable system at Genoa and use Equinix’s GN1 colocation facility as a strategic interconnection point for the subsea cable system.
2Africa is one of the world’s largest submarine telecommunications cable projects, driven by a group of partners. The cable will circumnavigate the continent of Africa, directly connecting 16 countries to Europe and the Middle East. 2Africa is expected to deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbp/s on key segments of the system.
The Equinix GN1 colocation facility will provide a capacity of 150 cabinet equivalents, and colocation space of approximately 6,000 square feet (560 square meters).
This project would deliver “much-needed” Internet capacity and reliability, underpinning the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people. The project would also help drive the growth of increasingly digitized economies across Europe by strengthening connectivity between European countries.
Colocation Data Center Milan
GN1 will have a direct fiber connection to ML5, the soon-to-be opened Equinix flagship data center in Milan. When opened, Equinix ML5 will provide capacity of 500 data center cabinet equivalents and colocation space of approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 square meters). Direct fiber connection to ML5 will allow Equinix customers to increase the number of partners they connect with and expand their reach into new markets. The combination of 2Africa’s landing in the new Genoa site and the direct connection to Milan means GN1 will offer a new, complementary and diverse alternative option for the Mediterranean region.
“The 2Africa project is vitally important to improving connectivity between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and will also improve intra-European connectivity,” said Nick Gliddon, Director, Vodafone Carrier Services. “By linking Spain and Portugal directly to Genoa and Milan, the system will avoid fiber bottlenecks that naturally occur between France and Spain, further strengthening Vodafone’s Gigabit networks.”
The 2Africa project’s partners include China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC. The cable system will underpin digitization across the African continent by bringing “greater capacity, quality and availability” of Internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world.
“I am thrilled we are adding a new metro to our EMEA portfolio. Equinix’s Genoa site provides a great landing hub for subsea cable operators, whilst at the same time boosting the digital ecosystems at our recently announced Milan flagship, ML5,” said Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, President, EMEA, Equinix. “Equinix continues to focus on expanding its position as a global connectivity service provider. Our commitment is always to support the increasing demands we’re seeing from companies globally to accelerate their digital transformation. We’re helping businesses connect to everything they need to succeed, and will continue to do so.”