Unlike constructing things on the continent, Africa’s brand new subsea internet cable is well on its way to completing construction. The project is managed by what is called the 2Africa consortium, which comprises China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC. And it’s about to get a little longer.
Bringing more internet 2Africa
The 2Africa cable project intends to add another piece to the subsea cable stretching through Africa, to Europe, and Asia via Egypt. Dubbed the PEARLS branch, the new segment will extend to the Arabian Gulf, Pakistan, and India. At over 45,000 kilometres, this will make it the longest cable system ever deployed.
Earlier this year, the consortium managed to deploy over 2,000km of terrestrial cable over the African continent. It used Kabare in the DRC as a central point and was just the beginning of the massive-scale internet cable project.
The new cable segment adds connectivity to “…locations in Oman (Barka), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manamah), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and a fourth landing in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar),” according to a press release.
Of course, the new extension brings much-needed quality networking infrastructure to many underserved regions.
“The past 18 months have highlighted the importance of connectivity as billions of people around the world rely on the internet to work, attend school, and stay connected to people they care about. We continue to invest in subsea cables in Africa and beyond, as communities and businesses flourish when there is widely accessible internet,” says Kevin Salvadori, Facebook’s VP of networking infrastructure.