by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE largest subsea cable system in the world has landed in the Eastern Cape region.
2Africa has landed at the Vodacom network facility in Gqeberha.
It promises greater internet capacity and acceleration of connectivity across the province and supporting South Africa’s growing digital economy.
The 2Africa Consortium includes some international partners, China Mobile International, Meta (Facebook), MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3 (stc), Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom and West Indian Ocean Cable Company.
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.
The Gqeberha landing is the 2Africa project’s third on the coast of South Africa, following two recent landings in the Western Cape by MTN GlobalConnect, Vodacom is the designated landing partner, providing facilities for the cable’s installation at an existing site in the Summerstrand area.
Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom Group Chief Officer: International Markets, said the 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.
“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,” he said.
The 2Africa project underpins further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access by providing improved connectivity to underserved and rural areas.
In an RTI study, 2Africa is predicted to spur economic impact worth US$26.2 billion to $36.9 billion, equivalent to 0,42 percent and 0,58 percent of Africa’s GDP, within two to three years of becoming operational.
Alcatel Submarine Networks is responsible for manufacturing and deploying the 2Africa cable, due for completion in 2024.
The cable system, measuring 45 000 kilometres in length with a design capacity of 180 Tbps, will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia) and Africa.
The system has four landings in South Africa and two each in Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt, thus a total of 27 landings in Africa and 46 landings in total.
– CAJ News