They stated in a joint statement on Monday that Facebook and a team of African and global telecommunications companies will add four more countries to its largest submarine cable project in the world, thereby expanding construction projects in Africa earlier than planned. .
Internet connectivity will be extended to Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Angola, and will bring a new landing point to southeastern Nigeria. The two companies said this is in addition to the recently announced expansion plan for the Canary Islands.
The project’s consortium is called 2Africa and includes South Africa’s MTN GlobalConnect, Facebook, Mauritius’ infrastructure provider WIOCC, China Mobile International, France’s Orange SA, Saudi Arabia’s stc, Egypt Telecom and Vodafone.
They added that the Alcatel Submarine Network (ASN) has been selected to deploy a new “branch”, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity with Africa and its surrounding areas.
The two companies stated: “Most of the subsea route survey activities have now been completed. ASN has begun manufacturing cables and building repeater units at Calais and Greenwich plants to deploy the first part in 2022.”
The consortium launched the cable, which is expected to go online in May 2020 at the end of 2023 to connect these countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Submarine cables form the backbone of the Internet and carry 99% of the world’s data traffic.
Africa’s large economies have a large and rapidly growing number of Internet users, and rapidly expanding mobile broadband networks and more affordable telephones are driving the growth of Internet use.
However, with a population slightly above 1.3 billion, Africa is still lagging behind in terms of Internet connectivity, with an average mobile Internet user of about 26%, compared to the world average of 51%.
The two companies said that 2Africa will become the world’s largest submarine cable project.
© Thomson Reuters 2021