Facebook to expand planned undersea cable network in Africa


The undersea cable sector is experiencing a resurgence, with Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google behind about 80% of recent investments in transatlantic links. — Technology photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com

Facebook Inc and some of the world’s largest telecommunications carriers, China Mobile Ltd and MTN Group Ltd, are set to build a wider-than-earlier planned giant sub-sea cable in Africa.

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

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email.

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 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 US$20bil (RM84.69bil) laying fiber-optic lines under the oceans.

The project is part of Facebook’s long-held plans to lead the race to provide more reliable and faster Internet in Africa, a continent of more than 1.2 billion people with an increasing up take of smartphones. The US social-media giant first announced 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 blew up.

2Africa, set to be one of the largest subsea cable project in the world, will cost just under US$1bil (RM4.23bil), Bloomberg reported last May, citing people familiar with the matter. Manufacturing of the first segments of the infrastructure has started in the US, according to the statement. Nokia Oyj’s Alcatel Submarine Networks was picked to build the cable.

The 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-kilometer (23,000 miles) long cable will connect Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

2Africa is expected to come into operation by 2024 and will deliver more than the combined capacity of all sub-sea cables that are currently serving Africa, according to the statement. Other project partners include Telecom Egypt Co, the UK’s Vodafone Group Plc and Paris-based Orange SA. – Bloomberg

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Tech News

At least 50% of Aston Martin car sales should be electric by 2030, says CEO
Volkswagen executive sees global chip shortage running well in 2022
U.S. FCC commissioner wants new restrictions review for Chinese dronemaker DJI
Comcast, Walmart team up to sell smart TVs with the media firm's software
Germany's RWE expects to spend $21 billion in Britain by 2030
Oracle's NetSuite adds banking features to its software; HSBC is first partner
Abu Dhabi's tech hub sees surge of interest from start-ups
Snap launches studio to create augmented reality ads
GlobalFoundries seeks $25 billion valuation in U.S. IPO as chip demand soars
Facebook shuts fake accounts in Sudan, as fight for public opinion rages online

Others Also Read


Vouchers