Equiano cable system is the third private international cable owned by Google and the 14th subsea cable invested by Google.
Equiano connects Portugal and South Africa, running along the West Coast of Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries. The first branch is expected to land in Nigeria.
Named for Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a boy, the Equiano cable is state-of-the-art infrastructure based on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with 12 fiber pairs and design capacity of 144Tbps, approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region. The SDM technology was first deployed in Google's second private subsea cable, Dunant.
Equiano will be the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fiber-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.
A contract to build the Equiano cable with Alcatel Submarine Networks was signed in Q4 2018, and the first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2022.