Facebook and telecoms companies to build undersea cable around the continent of Africa

Facebook and telecoms companies to build undersea cable around the continent of Africa

BBC News

Facebook is teaming up with telecoms companies to build a 37,000km (23,000-mile) undersea cable to supply faster internet to 16 countries in Africa.

Its length – almost equal to the circumference of the Earth – will make it one of the longest, it said.

It is part of a long-running bid by Facebook to take its social media platform to Africa’s young population.

Ready for use by 2024, it will deliver three times the capacity of all current undersea cables serving Africa.

“When completed, this new route will deliver much-needed internet capacity, redundancy, and reliability across Africa, supplement a rapidly increasing demand for capacity in the Middle East, and support further growth of 4G, 5G, and broadband access for hundreds of millions of people,” said Facebook in a blog.

Africa lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet access, with four in 10 people across the continent having access to the web, compared with a global average of six in 10.

But the continent represents huge opportunities for technology firms and businesses with its population of 1.3 billion.

The cost of the 2Africa project – which will connect Europe and the Middle East to the continent – has not been disclosed but Bloomberg reported it could be close to $1bn (£820m).

See entire article from BBC News

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2Africa Project

Nokia-owned cable systems provider Alcatel Submarine Networks is tasked with building the subsea cable completely around the African continent.

The big-name parties involved are China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC)- owner of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable.

The 2Africa parties and Airtel have signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new crossing linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

2AFRICA official website

WIOCC is owned by 14 major African telcos. The shareholders are:

BoFiNet Botswana
Dalkom Somalia
Djibouti Telecom
Gilat Telecom
Zantel – Tanzania
LPTIC – Libya
TelOne – Zimbabwe
ONATEL – Burundi
Telecomunicações de Moçambique
Telkom Kenya
Uganda Telecom
Liquid Telecom Holdings, Mauritius
Lesotho Communications Authority
Seychelles Cable System Company

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