The world’s largest subsea cable reaches South Africa’s Eastern Cape, providing international connectivity for faster, more reliable internet services and local job creation.
What most people don’t realise is that subsea cables carry the vast majority of the world’s inter-continental data, powering the internet, and are integral to the abilities of countries to modernise, digitise and grow their economies.
Launched in May 2022, the 2Africa subsea cable is the largest subsea cable system in the world and, when it is completed in 2024, will circle the whole of Africa, and will connect countries in the continent to Europe and the Middle East.
The cable’s latest landing is at the Vodacom network facility in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), in South Africa.
This will deliver benefits to the Eastern Cape region including:
- improved 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access to underserved and rural areas of the Eastern Cape and surrounding provinces;
- improved quality, reliability and lower latency for consumer and business internet services; and
- much-needed regional job creation in sectors such as data centres, call centres and software development.
“This latest 2Africa cable landing affirms Vodacom’s commitment to driving digital inclusion in Africa by increasing access to quality internet services and investing in the network infrastructure to support this goal. We cannot achieve this alone, and collaboration between other industry stakeholders and the public sector is critical in enabling more citizens across the continent to be connected,” said Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom Group Chief Officer: International Markets.
About the 2Africa cable system
- Manufactured and deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).
- The 2Africa Consortium includes eight international partners, China Mobile International, Meta (Facebook), MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3 (stc), Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom and WIOCC.
- 45,000 kilometres in length (almost entirely circling Africa).
- design capacity of 180 Terabytes per second (more than the combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today).
- will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia) and Africa, covering 19 countries in Africa and 33 countries in total.
- an RTI study predicted the economic impact of 2Africa to be between US$26.2 billion to US$36.9 billion (~€24.1 billion to €34 billion), equivalent to 0.42-0.58% of Africa’s GDP, within two to three years of becoming operational.
- Due for completion in 2024.
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