2Africa is one of the largest subsea projects in the world, connecting 46 cable landing stations in 33 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, with a cable length of 45,000km.
When it was first announce in May 2020, 2Africa was 37,000 km in length, connecting 23 countries, including 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. In August 2021, 2Africa added 4 branches to extend connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands and Angola and bring a new landing to south-east Nigeria. Later in September 2021, 2Africa officially announced the extension of 2Africa Pearls, extending to the Gulf, Pakistan and India, connecting 46 cable landing stations in 33 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, with a cable length of 45,000km.
2Africa is now the longest subsea cable in the world, followed by SMW3 of 39,000km.
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.