Today, the 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, will be landing the 2Africa cable in Marseille, France. 2Africa, which will be the largest subsea cable project in the world, will connect 33 countries from 2023, delivering faster, more reliable internet service to each country where it lands and links three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia. The arrival in Marseille follows successful European landings in Genoa, Italy and Barcelona, Spain earlier this year.
Vodafone, the landing partner in Marseille, has partnered with the Port of Marseille Fos and Digital Realty, the world’s largest provider of carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions to telecom and cloud providers, to land the world’s longest submarine cable. With the landing of this cable, the city of Marseille strengthens its position as a data exchange hotspot and aims to become one of the top five Internet hubs internationally.
At 45,000 km, the 2Africa cable is set to become the longest submarine cable ever deployed. Carried by a consortium of international operators, the system will be operational in 2023 and will have a nominal capacity of up to 180 Tb/s and will comprise 16 fiber pairs. With the potential to connect more than three billion people across Africa, Europe and Asia, it should ultimately increase the economic potential of the African continent tenfold, promote data transfer and develop business opportunities.
With six future cable projects, Marseille continues to strengthen its pivotal role on the world map of data exchange. Thanks to its proximity to Africa, it is a natural gateway between the two continents. In addition to the performance of its facilities, the Port of Marseille Fos offers a high level of security to operators.
According to Hervé Martel, Chairman of the Board of the Port of Marseille Fos: "We’re excited to be a part of this global project, enabling connectivity to Africa. By hosting the world's longest cable, we are confirming our position as a strategic logistic hub of choice for telecommunications operators. With this landing of 2Africa, the city of Marseille is continuing to progress to become one of the world's top five digital hubs and the port will continue to put its expertise to work in support of the nation's accelerating strategy for the cloud."
With 15 submarine cables already in Marseille, accessible from the Digital Realty campus, the city has gone from being the 44th largest internet hub in the world to the 7th largest in the space of seven years.
Fabrice Coquio, SVP Digital Realty, President of Digital Realty France, says: "The landing of this 16th cable in Marseille underlines the importance of the city of Marseille in global digital exchanges and its privileged relationship with Africa. Digital Realty continues to support this development through the deployment of new data center capacity, including the latest, MRS4, in the port of Marseille Fos."