E Cape gets its first submarine broadband cable landing

An Alcatel Submarine Networks ship brings the 2Africa cable system ashore at Gqeberha. Image: Vodacom

The first-ever submarine broadband Internet cable has been brought ashore in the Eastern Cape, with Vodacom landing the Meta Platforms-backed 2Africa system in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

The 2Africa subsea cable, which, when completed, will encircle the African continent, promises “greater Internet capacity and acceleration of connectivity across the province”, Vodacom said in a statement on Monday.

The 2Africa Consortium includes eight international partners: China Mobile International, Meta Platforms, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Center3, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom and Wiocc.

The Gqeberha landing is the 2Africa project’s third on the coast of South Africa, following two recent landings in the Western Cape by MTN GlobalConnect. Vodacom is the designated landing partner in Gqeberha, providing facilities for the cable’s installation at an existing site in the Summerstrand area.

Service providers will be able to access to capacity on the 2Africa cable in Gqeberha “on a fair and equitable basis”, Vodacom said. “Direct international connectivity can then be provided to data centres, enterprise and wholesale customers.”

The cable’s landing should help create jobs in the region, too, the company said.

Until now, all submarine cables in South Africa have either landed in the Western Cape – on the coastline north of Cape Town – or along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

180Tbit/s design capacity

Alcatel Submarine Networks is responsible for manufacturing and deploying the 2Africa cable, which is due for completion in 2024.

The cable system, measuring 45 000km in length with a design capacity of 180Tbit/s, will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia) and Africa.

Read: Meta-backed 2Africa cable comes ashore near Cape Town

The cable system will connect 19 countries in Africa and 33 countries in total. It has four landings in South Africa and two each in Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt, for a total of 27 landings in Africa and 46 landings in total.

In pictures: 2Africa cable’s Cape Town landing

The 2Africa East cable system, of which the Gqeberha branch is part of, will go live by the fourth quarter of 2023.  – © 2023 NewsCentral Media

Get TechCentral’s daily newsletter

Source: techcentral.co.za