Facebook Incorporated is joining forces with some of the world’s biggest telecommunication carriers to build a giant sub-sea cable that will enable internet users in Africa enjoy reliable and faster internet.
The massive project is dubbed 2Africa.
The project, which is expected to come to light in 2024 and would deliver more than the combined capacity of all the sub-sea cables currently serving the continent, is coming after West Africa had outages from broken cables causing internet users across more than a dozen Sub-Saharan African nations experience slow service in January.
Two of Africa’s biggest wireless carriers, South Africa’s MTN and Telecom Egypt Co., United Kingdom’s Vodafone and France’s Orange SA with significant presence on the continent, and China Mobile Limited are partners in the 2Africa project, with Nokia Oyj’s Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks appointed builder of the cable.
Sources close to the huge project reveal the 37,000km-long project budget is estimated at $1bn and will connect Europe to the Middle East and 16 African countries.
In 2016, the American social media and technology company found by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates had tried to invest in improving internet connectivity in Africa, to take advantage of a young population, increasing availability and access to affordable smartphones. But its attempted satellite launch to beam signal around the continent using SpaceX rocket carrier blew up on the launch pad.