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Google’s Equiano undersea cable finally lands in South Africa


After successfully landing its Equiano undersea cable in Namibia last month, Google has announced that the cable has now landed in South Africa. The cable which seeks to connect Europe to Africa via the ocean landed in Melkbosstrand, Western Cape.

The cable system, which connects South Africa with Portugal is fully funded by Google and is its third private international cable after Dunant and Curie, and also its 14th subsea cable investment globally.

Equiano is the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fiber-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching. This greatly simplifies the allocation of cable capacity, giving Google the flexibility to add and reallocate it in different locations as needed.

The cable serves as an internet infrastructure connection between South Africa, Portugal and several other countries including Nigeria. It has a design capacity of 144Tbit/s, making it by far the highest-capacity Internet cable ever landed on the African continent.

The Equiano cable route.
The Equiano cable route.

African telecoms and data centre infrastructure firm WIOCC confirmed Equiano’s landing at Melkbosstrand in a statement on Monday saying the arrival will have a direct impact on connectivity throughout the Southern Africa region, resulting in faster internet speeds, reduced internet prices and improved user experience.

WIOCC is a key partner in Equiano, landing the 12,000km cable in Lagos, Nigeria, and owning a full fibre pair on the system. Partnering in bringing Equiano to Africa, the firm says is further reinforcing its ability to support its clients in extending their reach and capability across Southern Africa.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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