2Africa, not only Africa’s biggest subsea project but, the consortium behind it says, the largest subsea cable project in the world, is in the news again with plans for more branches.
The 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, has announced the addition of four new branches to the 2Africa cable. These branches will extend 2Africa’s connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, and Angola, and bring a new landing to south-east Nigeria.
This follows news in June of plans for an extension of the 2Africa submarine cable to connect the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new branches, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries. As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available to service providers at carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.
Since launching the 2Africa cable in May 2020, the 2Africa consortium has made considerable progress in planning and preparing for the deployment of the cable, which is expected to go live by late 2023. Most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete. ASN has started manufacturing the cable and building repeater units to deploy the first segments in 2022.
One of 2Africa’s key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing, which interconnects landing sites on the Red and the Mediterranean Seas via two completely diverse terrestrial routes, has been completed ahead of schedule. A third diverse marine path will complement this segment via the Red Sea.