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2Africa once again becomes the longest submarine cable in the world

2Africa Pearls is a branch to the Persian Gulf, India and Pakistan. The submarine cable around Africa is being extended again.

The 2Africa consortium is again extending the submarine cable project. As Facebook announced on September 28, 2022, a new segment called 2Africa Pearls is being built in the Persian Gulf, India and Pakistan. This extension will increase the total length of the 2Africa submarine cable to over 45,000 kilometers, making it the longest underwater cable system ever deployed.

The project consortium consists of South Africa’s MTN Globalconnect, Facebook, the Mauritius-based infrastructure provider WIOCC (West Indian Ocean Cable Company), China Mobile, Orange from France, the Saudi Arabian STC, Telecom Egypt and Vodafone. The parties have contracted Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build the submarine cable. Alcatel Submarine Networks is owned by Nokia but has been for sale for a long time. Space division multiplexing (SDM) makes it possible to increase the maximum number of fiber pairs in a cable from six to more than twelve. The higher number of fiber optic pairs enables fiber level switching, which means changing from pair to pair instead of from wavelength to wavelength.

2Africa now connects three continents, Africa, Europe and Asia terrestrially via Egypt with the new landings in Oman (Barka), the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai) and Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar). The new 2Africa office joins the recently announced expansions to the Canary Islands, Seychelles, Comoros, Angola and southeastern Nigeria. Here the submarine cable has already been described as the longest in the world.

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