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2022-12-09 at 14:03 #385436Nat QuinnKeymaster
2Africa, the world’s longest undersea cable, has made landfall near Cape Town.
This is according to MTN GlobalConnect, a member of the 2Africa Consortium. The consortium’s other members are China Mobile International, Meta (formerly Facebook), Orange, Saudi Telecommunication Company, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC.
MTN GlobalConnect has built a landing station for the cable in Duynefontein, near Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station (pictured: view of Duynefontein, Melkbosstrand, and Table Mountain from Silwerstroomstrand).
“As part of the 2Africa consortium, MTN GlobalConnect landed the highly anticipated 45,000km long, 2Africa subsea cable in Cape Town this week,” MTN’s digital wholesale and infrastructure division stated.
In addition to being the world’s longest cable, 2Africa also has a maximum design capacity of 180Tbps — the biggest of the cable systems serving the continent.
When it goes live, 2Africa will pip Google’s 144Tbps Equiano cable.
For perspective, when Equiano landed in South Africa in August, it was the first new Cape-to-Europe cable system to launch in years.
It also beat its next-nearest rival in terms of design capacity by several factors.
Excluding cables like PEACE that don’t fully extend to South Africa, Equiano was over seven times larger than other cables connecting the country to Europe and Asia.
2Africa landing site, Duynefontein. Source: MTN GlobalConnect environmental impact assessment application
2Africa landing site notice, Duynefontein. Source: MTN GlobalConnect environmental impact assessment application
When the 2Africa consortium first announced its cable in 2020, it said the total length would be 37,000km with 21 landing stations in 16 countries in Africa.
In September 2021, the consortium announced the 2Africa PEARLS branch extending to the Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan — bringing the length of the system to over 45,000km.
Alcatel Submarine Networks was appointed to build 2Africa and its extensions using a new technology called Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM).
MTN GlobalConnect Chief Fiberco Officer, Mohammed Aliyu, said 2Africa would lay the foundation for global internet, connecting people and continents across 33 countries.
MTN will formally launch the cable landing next week, on Tuesday, 13 December 2022.
Open Access Data Centres said this week that it expects the Eastern leg of 2Africa to land at its Mtunzini cable station near Durban in January 2023.
Facebook’s massive undersea cable lands in South Africa (mybroadband.co.za)
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