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Ship off KZN coast lands world's largest subsea cable system

2Africa cable project set to increase capacity, quality and availability of internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world when completed in 2024

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
The 2Africa East cable system, of which the Amanzimtoti branch is a part, will be ready for service by the fourth quarter of 2023.
The 2Africa East cable system, of which the Amanzimtoti branch is a part, will be ready for service by the fourth quarter of 2023.
Image: Supplied

The arrival of the 45,000km, 180 Terabits per second (Tbps) 2Africa cable system in Amanzimtoti is expected to bring much-needed additional international capacity for internet and other services, support high-speed internet delivery and provide greater diversity to benefit businesses and individuals throughout South Africa.

WIOCC, a leading player in the deployment of carrier-scale, future-proofed network infrastructure into Africa, landed 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable system, off the KwaZulu-Natal coast this week. 

The 2Africa cable consortium partners are China Mobile International, Meta (formerly Facebook), MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom and WIOCC.

WIOCC CEO Chris Wood said the international cable landing was another example of the company helping to build and accelerate Africa’s digital infrastructure and transformation.

“We are pleased to be working with our partners in the 2Africa project, bringing faster, more reliable internet to local businesses and consumers and making an enduring contribution to communications in Africa.

“The subsea cable system is enabling more communities to access transformative online resources, from education and healthcare to jobs and financial services, and experience the economic and social benefits of seamless connectivity,” he said.

The 2Africa cable project was launched in May 2020 to increase the capacity, quality and availability of internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world.

Manufactured and deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks, the cable system has a design capacity of up to 180Tbps and will interconnect 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East when it is completed in 2024.

WIOCC cited a recent study by RTI International which predicted that within two to three years of becoming operational, 2Africa was expected to spur economic impact worth $26.2bn (R459.1bn) to $36.9bn (R646.47bn), equivalent to 0.42-0.58% of Africa’s GDP.

“Landing 2Africa into carrier-neutral OADC (Open Access Data Centres) Durban ensures service providers are able to access international capacity and onward, domestic and intra-Africa connectivity on a fair and equitable basis, which will encourage and support the development of a healthy internet ecosystem,” it said..

“Once the system has been fully deployed, businesses and consumers will benefit from improved quality, reliability and lower latency for internet services, including telecommuting, high-definition video streaming and advanced multimedia and mobile video applications. 

“The 2Africa project underpins further growth of 4G, the continued rollout of 5G and fixed broadband access by providing improved connectivity to underserved and rural areas, and network resilience between KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of South Africa.

“As a gateway to international connectivity, the cable’s landing in Amanzimtoti will also help to drive the upgrade and expansion of telecommunications networks in KwaZulu-Natal and surrounding provinces.”

TimesLIVE


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