Facebook along with African and global telecom companies including China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, and Vodafone, is planning to build one of the world’s largest subsea cable networks. It is aimed at boosting internet availability across three continents. This place is where billions of people are still offline, without having any access to the world of the internet.
The companies will lay cables across Africa through a project called 2Africa. The cable length will stretch to 37,000km connecting Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This project will bring connectivity to the people of 16 countries in Africa who still don’t have the internet. The 37,000km cable will interconnect Europe through Egypt, and the Middle East through Saudi Arabia with Africa via 21 landings in 16 countries.
What Telcos Said
The companies in a joint statement said they are expecting the system to be live by 2023 or early 2024. Also, this will be delivering more data than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa. The companies said, the design capacity on key parts of the system will be up to 180 terabytes per second. However, neither Facebook nor the telecom operators reveal how much money they’re going to invest in the project.
What Facebook Said
Najam Ahmad, who is the Vice President of Network Infrastructure at Facebook, said they (Facebook) are very excited to be collaborating with their 2Africa partners on this project. He called it “the most comprehensive subsea cable that will serve the continent.” On the same note, the CEO of MTN Group’s wholesale operation at MTN GlobalConnect, Frédéric Schepens said, “MTN GlobalConnect is delighted to participate in this bold 2Africa subsea cable project.” He also said, they are proud to be playing a key role in providing the benefits of a modern connected life, which he called a core MTN belief.
All the telcos along with Facebook are quite excited to invest in this project. It will bring connectivity to a billion people living across these 3 continents. This subsea cable will also help Facebook and others lower down their bandwidth costs.