2Africa is one of the largest subsea projects in the world, connecting 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and extending to Asia via the main Europe-to-Asia subsea cables, with a cable length of 37,000km long and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa.
The 2Africa cable system will implement a new technology, SDM1 from ASN, allowing deployment of up to 16 fibre pairs, incorporating optical switching technology to enable flexible management of bandwidth. Cable burial depth has also been increased by 50% compared to older systems, and cable routing will avoid locations of known subsea disturbance, all helping to ensure the highest levels of availability.
2Africa will be the first time Wavelength Selective Switching (WSS)-ROADM is utilized in Africa, allowing for more flexible capacity management. 2Africa is also the first system of its size to make use of an innovative aluminum conductor for submarine cable systems.
The 2Africa cable system has a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.
The 2Africa consortium comprises China Mobile International, Djibouti Telecom, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been awarded to build the 2Africa cable.
The 2Africa cable system is expected to go live in 2023/4.