2Africa will be Largest subsea project to ever serve African continent 

China Mobile International, Facebook, GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC announced today that they will partner to build 2Africa, which will be the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region.

The parties have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks (“ASN”) to build the cable in a fully funded project which will greatly enhance connectivity across Africa and the Middle East.

“We’re excited to be collaborating with our 2Africa partners on the most comprehensive subsea cable that will serve the continent,” said Najam Ahmad, Vice President, Network Infrastructure at Facebook. “2Africa is a major element of our ongoing investment in Africa to bring more people online to a faster internet.”

At 37,000km long, 2Africa will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects and will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. 

The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system. 2Africa will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, supplement the fast-growing capacity demand in the Middle East and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people.

Jessica Gu, Director & Chief Technology Officer of China Mobile International explained, “The launch of 2Africa enables us to offer our customers seamless connection between Africa and Europe, together with our SEA-ME-WE 5 and AAE-1 subsea cable resources to further extend to Asia, which is an important milestone of our global development strategy.” 

In countries where the 2Africa cable will land, service providers will obtain capacity in carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis.

The 2Africa parties and Airtel have signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new crossing linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. 

Adel Hamed, Telecom Egypt’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Telecom Egypt’s contribution to 2Africa marks an important milestone in our endeavour to contribute to digital transformation in Africa. Egypt’s relationship with African states has and will always be one of Egypt's top priorities, it extends here to align with Egypt’s strategy to contribute in the current development in Africa.” 

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