Equiano undersea cable landing opens new possibilities for ICT sector
23RD AUGUST 2022
Google’s Equiano undersea cable system landing in Cape Town marks a significant moment for the South African telecommunications industry, says network infrastructure provider Openserve CEO Althon Beukes.
Openserve facilitated the landing, on August 8, at its cable station facility, in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, which will serve as the South African landing station and offer terrestrial services, connecting the cable landing to South African carrier-neutral data centres.
Equiano runs from western Europe, along the west coast of Africa to South Africa and will be operational later in 2022.
The cable stretches from the coast of Portugal with landing stations on St Helena Island, and in Togo, Nigeria, Namibia – where the cable landed in Swakopmund in July – and South Africa as the final point.
“The arrival of Equiano will also have a meaningful impact on the domestic economy through encouraging digital inclusion by making connectivity accessible to more South Africans,” says Beukes.
The cable is also the first submarine cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level, instead of the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.
In the initial design, Openserve will have 12 Tb/s capacity with current technology, and 16 Tb/s will be possible with upgrades.
The private undersea cable has a capacity of 144 Tb/s, 20 times the capacity of the last cable built to serve the region, which is expected to yield significant benefits for the relevant countries.
This includes increased broadband penetration and higher Internet use, subsequently creating economic benefits through the growth of the information communications technology industry and the digital economy.
“We are committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited by the possibilities brought about by the arrival of the Equiano subsea cable to its final destination,” says Google sub-Saharan Africa MD Nitin Gajria.
“We have partnered with Telkom/Openserve on this initiative and hope it will be a great catalyst to help grow the economy.”