Undersea Cable Goes “2Africa” and Beyond

MTN South Africa, MTN GlobalConnect, and the 2Africa consortium landed a subsea cable in Africa’s Western Cape. SatelliteProMe reported that the nearly 28,000-mile cable is the first in a series of six that will span five countries, including South Africa, Sudan, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Ghana.

The 2Africa cable will go live in 2023 in the western part of the continent, with plans to launch in the eastern side in 2024. The network will create cross-border synergy, connecting Africa’s countries to each other and the rest of the world, according to SatelliteProMe. Once live, the network will generate much-needed capacity in Africa from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

“Strategic partnerships such as the one we have with the 2Africa consortium will help us accelerate and deepen internet adoption and socio-economic progress across the African continent,” said MTN Group President/CEO Ralph Mupita. “Data traffic across African markets is expected to grow between four and five-fold over the next five years, so we need infrastructure and capacity to meet that level of growth and demand.”

Mupita added that MTN aims to become the number one African fiber player. The company has plans to build nearly 84,000 miles of proprietary fiber by 2025, generating up to $1 billion in revenue.

SatelliteProMe reported that with the launch of the 2Africa, South African service providers could acquire capacity in carrier-neutral data centers or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis. MTN GlobalConnect CEO Frédéric Schepens said the project is “creating a pan-African fiber railroad driving affordable connectivity.”

The 2Africa consortium includes China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC. The latest 2Africa landing was the first planned across 46 locations in 33 countries.

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