Africa set to welcome new 10,000km subsea telecom system

10 May 2021

The construction of Africa-1, a new 10,000 km subsea telecom system connecting Africa, the Middle East and Europe, has begun.

Current members of the consortium are Etisalat, G42, Mobily, Pakistan Telecommunication Company, Telecom Egypt and ASN, with other parties expected to join soon.

Africa-1 cable will provide eight fibre pairs to connect Africa and the Middle East eastward to Pakistan and westward to Europe, increasing the available transmission capacity between Asia and Europe.

It is expected to be ready for operation by the end of 2023 and will initially have landings in Kenya, Djibouti, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France. The system will also land in Sudan, France and further connect other countries in the Mediterranean such as Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.

The next phase will include additional landings in Yemen and Somalia, as well as an extension from Kenya to South Africa with intermediate landings in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), which provides all elements of turnkey global undersea transmission systems, said the system will be equipped from the start with ASN 1620 Softnode transmission equipment, featuring high performance 200/300/400 Gb/s advanced coherent XWAV line cards. The partners said Africa-1 will support Africa, the Middle East and Asia.