Seacom, Africa’s broadband submarine cable system, recently went live with express connectivity on the Equiano subsea cable connecting South Africa’s Cape Town to Lisbon in Portugal, the fastest direct route between Africa and Europe.
Originally announced in 2019 by Google, the Equiano subsea cable landed at Melkbosstrand north of Cape Town in August last year.
The cable starts in Western Europe and runs along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries.
The cable stretches 15 000 kilometres, has 12 fibre pairs, and has a design capacity of 144 Tbps. In addition to its landing station in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, the cable also has landing stations in Rupert’s Bay, St. Helena; Lomé, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; and Swakopmund, Namibia.
The subsea cable is also expected to create jobs, driven by expanding the region’s digital economy and peripheral sectors.
Prenesh Padayachee, Seacom’s group chief digital officer, said, “The Equiano subsea cable represents a new stage in Africa’s digital transformation, meeting Africa’s growing data requirements, enabling cross-border digital trade, and offering citizens and enterprises new opportunities.”
“This launch results from years of project negotiations and planning, driven by a goal to be ready to offer quality service to our customers from day one.”
Also commenting, Nick Walden, senior vice-president worldwide sales at Seacom’s technology partner on the project, Infinera, said, “We are delighted to partner with Seacom to light the Equiano subsea cable with our industry-leading ICE6 800G technology.
“With the industry’s highest spectral efficiency, ICE6 enables Seacom to maximise the number of high-speed services they can offer, providing multiple terabits of capacity on this critical subsea link.”