17 March 2023
Seacom has gone live with express connectivity on the Equiano subsea cable connecting Cape Town to Lisbon in Portugal, which it says is the fastest direct route between Africa and Europe.
Initially announced in 2019 by Google, the Equiano subsea cable landed at Melkbosstrand north of Cape Town in August 2022.
The cable starts in Western Europe and runs 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 cable stretches 15,000km, has 12 fibre pairs, and a design capacity of 144Tbps. 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 be a massive job creation machine, driven by the expansion of the region’s digital economy and peripheral sectors.
“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,” sais Prenesh Padayachee, Seacom’s group chief digital officer. “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.”
“We are delighted to partner with Seacom to light the Equiano subsea cable with our industry-leading ICE6 800G technology,” said Nick Walden, senior vice-president, Infinera. “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.”