Western Cape Welcomes the First 2Africa Subsea Cable in Africa

Western Cape Welcomes the First 2Africa Subsea Cable in Africa

Remember how the longest subsea cable in Africa was promised to happen by 2023? That project is already happening and excitingly, it begins in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Last month, MTN South Africa announced a collaboration between 2Africa Consortium and MTNGlobalConnect. MTN had claimed in a statement that the collaboration would enable the creation of the framework for better intercontinental connectivity and global internet access.

Today, the first-ever submarine broadband Internet cable has been brought ashore in the Eastern Cape, with Vodacom landing the Meta Platforms-backed 2Africa system in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). The 2Africa subsea cable, which, when completed, will encircle the African continent, promises “greater Internet capacity and acceleration of connectivity across the province”, Vodacom said in a statement on Monday.

The 2Africa cable’s construction and installation are being handled by Alcatel Submarine Networks, and they are scheduled to be finished in 2024. The 45 000km long cable system, which would connect Europe to the Middle East via Saudi Arabia and Africa via Egypt, has a design capacity of 180 Tbit/s.

China Mobile International, Meta Platforms, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom, and Wiocc are the other eight foreign members in the 2Africa Consortium. Following two recent landings in the Western Cape by MTN GlobalConnect, the Gqeberha landing marks the third South African coast landing for the 2Africa project. Vodacom is the official landing partner in Gqeberha, providing the necessary infrastructure for the installation of the cable at an existing location in the Summerstrand region.

Leading international corporations, such as Amazon, Hisense, Kimberly-Clark, Pegas Nonwovens, and Scatec Solar, have chosen to develop their African imprint in the Western Cape over other parts of the African continent over time. Over 300 new direct investments worth more than US$7.5 billion have been received into the area in the past ten years.

Western Cape provides a broad range of prospects in a variety of areas, from digital breakthroughs and world-class infrastructure to being Africa’s top digital hub. The new landing will increase the possibilities for development and satisfy particular requirements of the various sectors.

According to Vodacom, service providers would have “fair and equitable access” to capacity on the 2Africa cable in Gqeberha. “Direct international connectivity can then be provided to data centres, enterprise and wholesale customers.”

Until now, all submarine cables in South Africa have either landed in the Western Cape – on the coastline north of Cape Town – or along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.