Facebook’s undersea Internet cable is coming to South-East Nigeria and 3 other African countries

by | Aug 16, 2021

The 2Africa project, championed by social media giant, Facebook and seven other companies — China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC — is adding four new branches to its 37,000km undersea Internet cable.

The new branches extend the cable’s connectivity to Seychelles, Angola, the Comoro Islands and a new landing in South-East Nigeria. They will join the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands.

Per Facebook’s statement, the new branches will be deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) — Nokia-owned cable systems provider — and will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 35 in 26 countries.

In May 2020, Facebook announced this project, a cable connection it says would provide nearly three times the total network capacity of all the subsea cables serving Africa today.

Facebook says considerable progress has been made, and the cable is expected to go live in late 2023. Most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete as ASN has started manufacturing the cable to deploy the first segments in 2022.

It also says one of the cable’s key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing — 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.

Africa struggles with Internet connectivity. According to a 2020 GSM Association Factsheet, mobile Internet adoption in sub-Saharan Africa stood at 26% in 2019. The region accounts for almost half of the global population not covered by a mobile broadband network

As the International Telecommunications Union’s Digital Trends Report 2021 reveals, infrastructure is not the real problem. As of the end of 2019, 28 African countries had at least one submarine cable landing.

According to data from Many Possibilities, the West and East African coasts each have cables with an Internet capacity of at least 100 Tbps. By the end of 2021, the number could double.

As we noted in an earlier article, more subsea cables do not translate to faster Internet capacity. Service providers might only have to pay less to connect due to increased competition. In principle, this should reduce the cost of data for end-users.

However, this might not always be the case. For example, Nigeria is said to have the least affordable Internet in the world.

Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words.


Preliminary nominations for Techpoint Awards 2021 are now open. You can nominate the most outstanding startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and technology influencers in Nigeria here.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

5 ways to support Techpoint Africa

5 ways to support Techpoint Africa

If you value the work we do at Techpoint Africa and would like to help ensure that the core of our journalism remains free and independent, please consider these 5 ways to support us

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap