Internet search giant, Google has introduced Equiano, its new private subsea cable that will connect Africa with Europe, with its first branch expected to land in Nigeria.
TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Google made the announcement on Friday, stating that once the project is completed, Equiano will start in Western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa.
The new cable is fully funded by Google, making it the third private international cable after Dunant and Curie, and its 14th subsea cable investment globally.
Google said there would be branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries, with Google saying, “The first branch is expected to land in Nigeria”.
Google’s private subsea cables all carry the names of historical luminaries, and Equiano, named for Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, who was enslaved as a boy, is no different.
TNG reports Equiano cable is state-of-the-art infrastructure based on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region.
“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. This greatly simplifies the allocation of cable capacity, giving us the flexibility to add and reallocate it in different locations as needed.
“And because Equiano is fully funded by Google, we’re able to expedite our construction timeline and optimize the number of negotiating parties. A contract to build the 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 2021.
“Between 2016 and 2018, Google invested US$47 billion in capex, which includes investment in improving our global infrastructure. Equiano will further enhance the world’s highest capacity and best connected international network.
“We’re excited to bring Equiano online, and look forward to working with licensed partners to bring Equiano’s capacity to even more countries across the African continent,” said Google in a statement.