by DION HENRICK
CAPE TOWN – GOOGLE has forecast the Equiano subsea cable to increase South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by up to US$7 billion by 2025.
It is poised to indirectly contribute to the creation of 180 000 jobs.
Lauded as Africa’s highest capacity subsea internet cable, Equiano has reached its final destination in South Africa.
The landing, a partnership between Openserve, Africa’s largest wholesale infrastructure provider, and Google, is anticipated to have a significant economic impact for South Africa and drive digital transformation across the continent.
Openserve’s cable station facility in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town serves as the South African landing station and will offer terrestrial services, connecting the cable landing to South African carrier-neutral data centres.
South Africa is the final stop for the cable, which first landed in St Helena a year ago.
Branches of the cable also landed in Togo, Nigeria and Namibia in 2022.
“The connectivity that will be unlocked through Equiano will have an immense impact on the ICT sector and the domestic economy overall,” said Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer, Serame Taukobong.
He said the capacity that Equiano offers would make connectivity more accessible and affordable, helping to bridge the digital divide locally.
“Making connectivity more attainable will also allow small businesses to embrace digital innovation and fully step into the digital economy,” said Taukobong.
Equiano runs from Portugal, along the west coast of Africa to South Africa.
It is the first submarine cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level as opposed to the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.
The undersea cable has a capacity of 144 Terabytes per second, which is 20 times the capacity of the last cable built to serve the region.
Dr Alistair Mokoena, Country Director for Google South Africa, said the Equiano cable is a major part of a commitment to drive digital transformation in Africa.
Althon Beukes, Openserve Chief Executive Officer, added the undersea cable would ultimately transform the connectivity experience in South Africa from internet service providers (ISPs) to the end-user.
“ISPs will be able to provide lower retail prices and the end-user will enjoy seamless connectivity, lower latency and faster internet speeds,” Beukes explained.
– CAJ News