The internet outage earlier this year caused headaches for many South Africans. Thankfully redundancy in the form of alternative cables kept South Africans online.

Additional redundancy and options aren’t a bad thing which is why we have some good news today.

China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC have announced that the firms will collaborate to build a new subsea cable that will serve the African continent and the Middle East. The cable has been named 2Africa.

Construction of 2Africa will be handled by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and will span 37 000km.

2Africa will interconnect Europe, the Middle East via Saudi Arabia and 16 African nations.

The cable is expected to go live sometime in 2023 or 2024 and will have a capacity of 180Tbps.

Perhaps the most interesting slice of news from this is that ASN will be using a new technology known as Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM). This technology allows for 70 percent more capacity while optimise the cost per bit transferred. The 2Africa cable will feature 16 fibre pairs rather than the usual eight.

As Africa is a large continent, the focus on capacity is good news.

“We are honored by the trust of our partners and proud to have been selected for this project. With this state-of-the-art subsea system, Africa will take a giant leap to the digital age thanks to the best-in-class technologies. Africa is a long story for ASN: we have deployed the majority of submarine cables around the continent. 2Africa will be a great new chapter,” said president of ASN, Alain Biston.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]