2Afriaca cable system elongated to Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan

Facebook, telcos to build huge subsea cables for Africa and Middle East [Image: courtesy]
Africa—2Africa, one of the largest subsea cable projects in the world running 37,000 km long, connecting Europe, the Middle East, and 16 countries in Africa, provides internet capacity and reliability across much of the Middle East and Africa supporting the growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people and businesses.

The consortium comprising of China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN, Global Connect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC, has announced the addition of a new segment- the 2Africa PEARLS branch- extending to the Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan.

This extension will bring the total length of the e2Africa cable system to over 45,000 kilometers, making it the longest subsea cable system ever deployed.

Now connecting three continents Africa, Europe, and Asia territorially through Egypt, 2Africa creates unique connectivity by adding vital landing locations in Oman (Barka), UAE, (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw0, Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and a fourth landing in Saudi Africa (Al Khobar).

The new 2Africa branch joins recently announced extensions to the Canary Islands, Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Angola, and New landing to South-East Nigeria.

As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available in PEARLS landings at carrier-neutral facilities or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem.

To further support a burgeoning global digital economy, the expanded system will serve an even wider range of communities that rely on the internet services from education to healthcare, and businesses, providing economic and social benefits that come from increased connectivity.

As announced in May 2020, 1africa was planned to directly bring seamless international connectivity to 1.2 billion people.

Today, with 2Africa PEARLS, 2Africa will be providing international connectivity to an additional 1.8 billion people that’s 3 billion people, representing 36% of the global population.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy the new system utilizing new technologies such as SDM that allow the deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs, double that of the older technologies, and bringing greater and more cost-effective capacity.