• Tech - News - Tech Companies
  • Updated: August 16, 2021

Facebook, MTN, China Mobile To Expand Undersea Cable Network In Africa

Facebook Inc. has on Monday announced that it plans to build a wider-than-earlier giant sub-sea cable in Africa in partnership with some of the world’s largest telecommunications carriers, China Mobile Ltd. and MTN Group Ltd.

According to a statement, the companies have planned to add the Indian Ocean island countries of Seychelles and Comoros, as well as Angola and a new connection to Nigeria. This is in addition to a recently announced link to the Canary Islands and would bring connection-landings to 35 in 26 countries.

Other project partners include Telecom Egypt Company, Vodafone Group plc of the UK, and Paris-based Orange SA.

A Facebook spokesperson said in an email that its investment in 2Africa builds on several other investments it has made in the continent.

“The significant investment by Facebook in 2Africa builds on several other investments we have made in the continent, including infrastructure investments in South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The undersea cable sector is experiencing a resurgence, with Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google behind about 80% of recent investments in transatlantic links.

The tech giants are seeking to tap the growing demand for fast-data transfers used for everything from streaming movies to social messaging and telemedicine.

During the 1990s dot-com boom, phone companies spent more than $20 billion laying fiber-optic lines under the oceans.

The social media giant has long planned to explore the Africa continent of more than 1.2 billion people with an increased uptake of smartphones and the well-founded and high-0speed internet in Africa. The company first announced its plans for a new undersea cable in May 2020. That followed attempts to launch a satellite in 2016 to beam signal around the continent -- but the SpaceX rocket carrying the technology exploded.

Businesshala reported last May, citing people familiar with the matter, that 2Africa, one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects, would cost just under $1 billion. According to the statement, the construction of the first section of infrastructure in the US has begun. Nokia Oyj’ Alcatel Submarine Networks was selected to manufacture the cable.

Marine surveys for the new sections of the cable will probably be completed by the end of the year, according to the companies. The 37,000-kilometre (23,000-mile) long cable will connect Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

According to the statement, 2Africa is expected to be operational by 2024 and will deliver more than the combined capacity of all sub-sea cables currently serving Africa.

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Lawrence Agbo
Lawrence Agbo

Lawrence is a vibrant journalist that loves creating SEO-focused content that drives businesses. ...

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