2Africa can now officially boast that it is the longest subsea cable system in the world after the announcement that it has been extended to the Arabian Gulf, Pakistan and India.
The 2Africa consortium – China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC – has announced the addition of the new segment – called the 2Africa PEARLS branch. This extension will bring the total length of the 2Africa cable system to over 45,000 kilometres.
Today, with 2Africa PEARLS, 2Africa will be providing international connectivity to an additional 1.8 billion people (and three billion people in total).
Now connecting three continents, Africa, Europe and Asia, terrestrially through Egypt, 2Africa has added landing locations in Oman (Barka), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manamah), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar). The new 2Africa branch joins recently announced extensions to the Canary Islands, the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, Angola, and a new landing in south-east Nigeria.
As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available in PEARLS landings at carrier-neutral facilities or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem.
The consortium says that the expanded system will serve an even wider range of communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare, along with businesses, providing the economic and social benefits that come from increased connectivity.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy the new system utilizing new technologies such as SDM that allow the deployment of up to 16 fibre pairs, double that of older technologies, and bringing greater and more cost-effective capacity.