Facebook has partnered with several telcos in Africa to bring faster internet connectivity. The social media giant together with a consortium of Telcos including China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC, plans to build a giant sub-sea cable to serve the African continent.
The project has been allocated a total of $1 Billion, or Ksh 100bn and is expected to be operational come 2023/4. It will be known as 2Africa and will cover 37,000-kilometers, making it one of the longest in the world.
2Africa’s capacity will be bigger than all the existing undersea cables that serve Africa combined. The design lets the cable carry up to 180Tbps.
It connects Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. One landing will be in Kenya. The cable will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks.
2Africa will help satisfy the growing demand for internet capacity and reliability across the continent. It’s also touted to be cost-effective thanks to its underlying 16-fiber pair technology which makes it carry greater and more cost-effective capacity.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with our 2Africa partners on the most comprehensive subsea cable that will serve the continent,” said Najam Ahmad, Vice President, Network Infrastructure at Facebook.
However, Facebook is not the only tech giant that has laid out plans to connect the African continent to the world. Last year Google also introduced Equiano, a private subsea cable connecting Europe to Africa.
Featured Image/Map of 2Africa landing countries (Photo: Business Wire)