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News | 19 May 2020

Massively long subsea cable to give African nations major internet boost

Vodafone is part of a multinational consortium investing in one of the world’s largest fibre optic cable projects.

The new 2Africa internet cable will be 37,000km (23,000 miles) long – that’s nearly long enough to stretch around the circumference of the earth.

It will have 21 landing points across 16 African nations.

photo of a deep sea data cable as seen from a ship

With a capacity of up to 180 terabits per second (Tbps) – more than the total combined capacity of all the subsea cables currently serving the African continent – it will bring faster, more reliable internet connections to hundreds of millions of people.

2Africa subsea fibre optic cable graphic

Credits: Vodafone

To protect it from accidental damage, the cable will be buried 50% deeper under the ocean floor than other subsea cables. It is scheduled to go live in 2023-24.

Heading eastwards via Egypt and Saudi Arabia, 2Africa will have landing points in Sudan, Djibouti, Oman, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Senegal, as well as the Congo region, Portugal, Italy, France and the UK.

A map of the 2Africa cable project
The 2Africa cable will have 21 landing points across 16 African nations.

2Africa will not only be the newest addition to Vodafone’s extensive globe-spanning network of subsea data cables, it will also be the latest in Vodafone’s long line of investments in infrastructure and services designed for African customers.

Vodafone Group is investing in the 2Africa cable as part of an international consortium alongside China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt and WIOCC, with construction works undertaken by Alcatel Submarine Networks.