Africa and Europe will be connected by another undersea cable. The Equiano cable scheduled to start operating in 2021 and it is a Google initiative. After it is ready, the cable will connect Portugal and South Africa, including branch units along the way that according to the company will be used for expanding connectivity to other African countries. The cable would make a “connecting stopover” in Nigeria, according to Google.
The inspiration for the name of the cable came from there. Olaudah Equiano is a Nigerian writer and abolitionist enslaved when he was a boy and afterward played an important role in the English abolitionist movement in 1807.
A connected Africa
One of the cutting edge differences in the Equiano cable different from other previously installed cables is it employs a state-of-the-art infrastructure based on the spatial division multiplexing technology (SDM), guaranteeing 20 times more network capabilities than the previous cable installed to serve the region.
The new technology simplifies the allocation capacity of cables, providing Google the flexibility of adding and relocating cables in different locations, based on specific needs. Therefore, the company has already announced that it expects to license local partners to take the Equiano capabilities to more countries on the African continent.
Technology coming from the sea
The company has invested around US$ 47 billion dollars in the last three years to boost its technological framework. This is its third private international project in this sector and Google’s fourteenth participation. The first cable was named Curie, and it was concluded this past April, and it connects Chile to Los Angeles. A second cable is going to connect the United States to France, and it should be ready by next year.
+ A contract for building a cable with Alcatel Submarine Networks was signed in the 4th quarter of 2018. The first phase of the project connects South Africa to Portugal that should be concluded in 2021.
Portugal and South Africa: a new connection
At the end of the XIV century, Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorers arrived at Cape Town and created the first connection between the city and the European continent. Then in the middle of the XVII century, the Dutch Company from Eastern India established a city in the seaport serving as a hub between Europe, Africa, and Asia.