According to stc, the 2Africa consortium, comprised of China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC, announced on Monday the addition of a new branch to the 2Africa cable. The branch will extend 2Africa’s connectivity in to The Gulf region. The Gulf branch has been named 2Africa Pearls. 2Africa cable system will connect 46 cable landing stations in 33 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.

The 2Africa Pearls will land at four locations in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Yanbu, Duba and Haql, going on to land in Oman, UAE (Fujairah & Abu Dhabi), Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait as it extends into The Gulf.

The new branch, 2Africa Pearls, will also connect Pakistan and India to the 2Africa Cable System.

The new branch joins the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands, the Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Angola, and a new landing to south-east Nigeria.

2Africa, which will be the largest subsea cable project in the world, will deliver faster, more reliable internet service to each country where it lands. Communities that rely on the internet for services from education to healthcare, and business will experience the economic and social benefits that come from this increased connectivity.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new branches, which will increase the number of 2Africa landings to 46 locations “stations” in 33 countries, further improving connectivity into the Gulf countries.

As with other 2Africa cable landings, capacity will be available to service providers at carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis, encouraging and supporting the development of a healthy internet ecosystem.

Marine surveys completed for most of the cable and Cable manufacturing is underway The 2Africa consortium has made considerable progress in planning and preparing for the deployment of the cable extension, which is expected to ‘go live’ late 2023. Most of the subsea route survey activity is now complete. ASN has started manufacturing the cable and building repeater units in its factories in Calais and Greenwich to deploy the first segments in 2022.