- Google officially unveiled its Equiano submarine internet cable with a $1 billion investment; fully funded by the company.
- The Equiano cable is expected to deliver high-speed broadband, at 144 terabits per second according to a report published by Google.
- It became Africa’s highest capacity cable and stretches 15,000 km from Portugal to South Africa and features 12 fiber pairs.
Google has launched the 15,000 km subsea cable that connects Portugal to South Africa. The submarine internet cable is Africa’s highest capacity cable. The project was initially announced in 2019. The cable is fully funded by Google and its third private international cable. It is also the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fiber-pair level.
From Portugal to South Africa
Equiano features 12 fiber pairs with a capacity of 150 Tbps. The cable has nine branching points and lands in Melkbosstrand, north of Cape Town in early August. According to a report published by Google, Equiano will create 1.8 million jobs by 2025 and will enable dropping data prices between 16-21% in the region.
The official launch for the $1 billion project was held at Openserve’s cable station facility in Melkbosstrand. Telkom’s Openserve is teaming up with the internet giant as a landing partner in South Africa and will offer terrestrial services. Its main priority will be connecting the cable to South African carrier-neutral data centers.
The cable is named after a Nigerian-born writer Olaudah Equiano, who was enslaved as a kid and then earned his freedom. Dr. Alistair Mokoena, country director for Google South Africa said,
« Google is committed to helping drive digital transformation in Africa, and the Equiano cable is a major part of that commitment. Our total investment pledge in this project is $1 billion, and in South Africa, we anticipate that it will increase the GDP by up to $7 billion by 2025. The cable will not only improve internet speeds and affordability, but will help to support the growth of the digital economy in Africa. »