Google unveils private subsea cable to connect Africa and Europe

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GOOGLE has announced its new private subsea cable called ‘Equiano’, which is set to connect Africa with Europe.

Upon completion, Equiano will start in western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries.

The company revealed that this will be its third private international cable after Dunant and Curie, and its 14th subsea cable investment globally.

‘Google’s private subsea cables all carry the names of historical luminaries, and Equiano is no different,’ said Google in a statement.

‘Named for Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a boy, the Equiano cable is state-of-the-art infrastructure based on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region.’

Equiano will be the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching, according to Google.

Due to the fact that Equiano is fully funded by Google, the company revealed that it is able to expedite its construction timeline and optimise the number of negotiating parties.

A contract to build the cable with Alcatel Submarine Networks was signed in Q4 2018, and the first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.

Between 2016 and 2018, Google invested $47bn in CAPEX, which includes investment in improving its global infrastructure.

Google added that Equiano will further enhance the world’s highest capacity and connected international network.

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