The demand for broadband connectivity has exploded in Africa with the Covid-19. Several international Internet service providers want to respond. A business opportunity to be exploited.
The 13 members of the Africa-1 consortium, including Etisalat, Mobily, G42, Pakistan Telecommunications Company, Telecom Egypt, have started the deployment of the new Africa-1 submarine fiber optic system. The work is carried out by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). The company announced it Thursday, January 28.
10,000 km long, the new infrastructure will interconnect Africa, the Middle East and Europe. It will have landing stations in Kenya, Djibouti, South Africa, Tanzania, Sudan, Mozambique, Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt , Yemen, France, Italy. It should contribute to strengthening affordable broadband connectivity in Africa.
The Africa-1 submarine system has been in the works since April 18, 2016, the date of creation of the consortium. By signing a construction and maintenance agreement in 2018, the various parties had entrusted ASN with its manufacture and future maintenance. Its deployment, which is currently taking place, is timely given the growing need for connectivity on the continent.
Through its interconnection with other optical fiber submarine cable systems and open access to all landing points that Africa already hosts, Africa-1 will offer connected countries access to higher Internet speeds, with very low latency. It will be additional support for their digital transformation. It is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2023.