The 2Africa project, launched in May 2020, is one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world and would interconnect 23 countries in Africa. 2Africa, a Facebook-backed subsea cable project, is finalising plans to become the largest internet service provider in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, with the announcement on Monday that Southeast Nigeria is now a new landing for the cable.
The cable will also extend connectivity to Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, and Angola. The branches will join the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands. The 2Africa project, launched in May 2020, is one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world and would interconnect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
At nearly 37,000 kilometres long, the 2Africa project is nearly equal to the circumference of the earth and would provide nearly three times the total network capacity of all the subsea cables currently serving Africa.
Nigeria has five major fibre cable operators: MainOne (10 Terabyte per second (Tbps)); SAT3/SAFE (800 gigabyte (Gb)); WACS (14.5Tbps); Glo1 (2.5Tbps), and ACE (5Tbps), with a combined capacity of 32.800Tbps. The subsea cable is being built by a consortium comprising China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC.
“2Africa cable landing stations will be owned and managed by 2Africa parties or, where necessary experienced local partners managed by one of 2Africa partners,” Kezia Anim-Addo, head of communications, Facebook Africa, told BusinessDay. BusinessDay had reported in May 2020 that the project would commence operations between late 2023 and early 2024.
The consortium led by Facebook confirms in an email that it is preparing for the deployment of the cable, expected to ‘go live’ in late 2023. Most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete. ASN has started manufacturing the cable and building repeater units in its factories in Calais and Greenwich to deploy the first segments in 2022.