2Africa subsea cable system adds 4 new branches
2Africa, which will be the largest subsea cable project in the world, will deliver faster, more reliable internet service to each country where it lands. Communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare, and business will experience the economic and social benefits that come from this increased connectivity.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new branches, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity into and around Africa. As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available to service providers at carrier-neutral data centers or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem.
Marine surveys completed for most of the cable and cable manufacturing is underway. Since launching the 2Africa cable in May 2020, the 2Africa consortium has made considerable progress in planning and preparing for the deployment of the cable, which is expected to ‘go live’ 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.
Egypt terrestrial crossing already completed
One of 2Africa’s key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing that interconnects landing sites on the Red and the Mediterranean Seas via two completely diverse terrestrial routes, has been completed ahead of schedule. A third diverse marine path will complement this segment via the Red Sea.
About MTN GlobalConnect
GlobalConnect is a Pan-African digital wholesale and infrastructure services company, and an operating company in the MTN Group. GlobalConnect manages MTN’s international and national major wholesale activities, in addition to offering reliable wholesale and infrastructure solutions for fixed connectivity and wholesale mobility solutions that include international mobile services, Voice, SMS, signalling, roaming and interconnect. The MTN Group launched in 1994 is a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world and is inspired by the belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. Embracing the Ambition 2025 strategy, MTN is anchored on building the largest and most valuable platform business, with a clear focus on Africa. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN”.
For more information, please visit www.globalconnect.solutions – https://www.mtn.com
With its headquarter in Riyadh, stc group is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa based on market cap. stc’s revenue for 2020 amounted to 58,953million SAR (15,721 million US dollars) and the net profit amounted to 10,995 million SAR (2,932 million US dollars). stc was established in 1998 and currently has customers around the globe. It is ranking among the world’s top 50 digital companies and the first in the Middle East and North Africa according to Forbes. It focuses on providing services to enterprise and consumer customers through a fiber-optic network that spans 217,000 kilometers. stc group was among the first in MENA region to launch 5G networks and was considered one of the fastest globally in deploying 5G network as stc already deployed around 4,000 5G towers as end of 2020. stc group has 14 subsidiaries in the Kingdom, gulf and around the world, and its own 100% of stc Bahrain, 51.8% stake in stc Kuwait and 25% stake in Binariang GSM Holding in Malaysia which owns 62% of Maxis in Malaysia.
In Saudi Arabia (the group’s main operation site) stc operates the largest modern mobile network in the Middle East as it covers more than 99% of the country’s populated areas in addition to providing 4G mobile broadband to about 90% of the population across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to the above-mentioned, stc is a strong regional player in IoT, managed services, system integration, cloud computing, information security, big data Analytics fintech and artificial intelligence.
For more information, please visit https://www.stc.com.sa; or to follow us on Twitter: @stc , @stc_ksa
About Telecom Egypt
Telecom Egypt is the first total telecom operator in Egypt providing all telecom services to its customers including fixed and mobile voice and data services. Telecom Egypt has a long history serving Egyptian customers for over 160 years maintaining a leadership position in the Egyptian telecom market by offering its enterprise and consumer customers the most advanced technology, reliable infrastructure solutions and the widest network of submarine cables. Aside from its mobile operation “WE”, the company owns a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt. Telecom Egypt’s shares and GDRs (Ticker: ETEL.CA; TEEG.LN) are traded on The Egyptian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Please refer to Telecom Egypt’s full financial disclosure on ir.te.eg
For more information, email: [email protected]
3 thoughts on “2Africa subsea cable system adds 4 new branches”
Average international Internet traffic rose by 48% in 2020, between long-term patterns of regional growth pushed further by pandemic-induced shifts in online behavior, says TeleGeography.
Between them, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet are behind about four-fifths of investments at the moment in transatlantic data connections.
Their joint system is set to link countries as far-flung as Nigeria and Angola with Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Indonesia. Together with another recently announced link to the Canary Islands, there will altogether be 35 connection-landings in 26 countries.
A 12,000 km cable called Apricot will race around Asia, while two further transpacific subsea cables, dubbed Bifrost and Echo, then will connect Singapore with the US west coast. Echo and Bifrost are expected to increase transpacific capacity by some 70%.
Facebook, Alphabet and their other partners, including Vodafone, Orange, MTN Group and Telecom Egypt, are aiming to have the entire 37,000-kilometer cable system in place by 2024. Its scale is bigger than the combined capacity of all current sea cables in Africa. The cable, of which Alcatel Submarine Networks has started constructing the first segments and repeater units, is designed to have an initial capacity of over 190 terabits per second.
Under the sea
Altogether there are about 400 subsea cables globally, which are responsible for nearly all the voice and Internet connections between countries.
Facebook, which is relying on fast-growing countries like Indonesia for its future growth as it plateaus in mature western markets, first announced its plans for a new undersea cable in May 2020. It has since gained new partners, scale and connectors. It’s a successor to the 1990s craze in laying fiber-optic cables under the sea, on which telephone operators spent over $20 billion amid the dot-com boom.
Drawing on that earlier engineering knowledge, the 2Africa cable system will be buried 50% deeper than older systems and routed around known areas of subsea disturbance. It also will use Wavelength Selective Switching for the first time in Africa, an optical switching technology its designers say will give it more flexibility in managing capacity.
The cable system also constitutes a US soft power play, linking these countries together and to America, not China. An earlier draft, called the Pacific Light Cable, also involved Facebook and Google and would have included Hong Kong as well. Washington, however, put its foot down over the Hong Kong leg, arguing it exposed the entire system’s data to misuse by China.
Today, Google Cloud announced Apricot, a new subsea cable that will connect Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Earlier this year, Google Cloud announced the Echo subsea cable, which will connect the U.S., Singapore, Guam and Indonesia. The Echo and Apricot cables are complementary submarine systems that will offer benefits with multiple paths in and out of Asia, including unique routes through southern Asia, significantly higher resiliency and lower latency.
Apricot joins Google’s global network of subsea cables, including Curie, Dunant, Equiano, Firmina and Grace Hopper, and consortium cables like JGA, INDIGO and Havfrue. In total, Google has investments in 18 subsea cables, alongside our 27 cloud regions and 82 zones around the world.
Google, Meta, Microsoft & Amazon use 66% of the world’s undersea fiber-optic capacity! The four tech giants increasingly dominate the internet’s critical cable infrastructure
Fiber-optic cable, which carries 95% of the world’s international internet traffic, links up pretty much all of the world’s data centers, those vast server warehouses where the computing happens that transforms all those 1s and 0s into our experience of the internet.
Where those fiber-optic connections link up countries across the oceans, they consist almost entirely of cables running underwater—some 1.3 million kilometers (or more than 800,000 miles) of bundled glass threads that make up the actual, physical international internet. And until recently, the overwhelming majority of the undersea fiber-optic cable being installed was controlled and used by telecommunications companies and governments. Today, that’s no longer the case.
In less than a decade, four tech giants— Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Meta (formerly Facebook ) and Amazon —have become by far the dominant users of undersea-cable capacity. Before 2012, the share of the world’s undersea fiber-optic capacity being used by those companies was less than 10%. Today, that figure is about 66%.
By building their own cables, the tech giants are saving themselves money over time that they would have to pay other cable operators. That means the tech companies don’t need to operate their cables at a profit for the investment to make financial sense.
The ability of these companies to vertically integrate all the way down to the level of the physical infrastructure of the internet itself reduces their cost for delivering everything from Google Search and Facebook’s social networking services to Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud services. It also widens the moat between themselves and any potential competitors.
“You have to imagine this investment will ultimately make them more dominant in their industries, because they can provide services at ever-lower costs,” says Mr. Meltzer.
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