(Ecofin Agency) - China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC announced on May 14, 2020, that they are collaborating to build a new submarine optical fiber system that will connect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Named 2Africa, the telecom infrastructure, which is designed to significantly improve connectivity will connect Europe (eastward, via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia) and Africa through 21 landing points in 16 countries. An optional direct optical interconnection between East Africa and Europe is planned.
The new 37,000 km long subsea project will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). It is expected to be commissioned in 2023/4, with a nominal capacity of up to 180 Tbit/s. The new infrastructure will meet the demand for ever-increasing capacity and will facilitate the deployment of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access.
The project shareholders have also signed an agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide a completely new link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
This project includes new landing stations, as well as the deployment of next-generation fiber on two new different land routes parallel to the Suez Canal, from Ras Gharib to Port Said, and in addition to a new submarine link establishing a third connection between Ras Gharib and Suez.