Google's New 'Equiano' Subsea Cable to Connect Africa and Europe

Google said Equiano is the company's 14th subsea cable investment globally.

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Google's New 'Equiano' Subsea Cable to Connect Africa and Europe
Highlights
  • Cable named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano
  • This is Google's third private international cable
  • It's also the company's 14th subsea cable investment globally

Alphabet's Google on Friday announced a new subsea cable dubbed "Equiano" that will connect Africa with Europe, as it boosts its cloud computing infrastructure.

Equiano, fully funded by Google, is the company's third private international cable.

The search engine giant, which has invested $47 billion in improving its global technology infrastructure over the last three years, said Equiano is the company's 14th subsea cable investment globally.

"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," Google said in a blog post.

"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 approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region," the post added.

Google said a contract to build the cable with Alcatel Submarine Networks was signed in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.

The company in April completed the "Curie" project, its first private intercontinental cable, connecting Chile to Los Angeles.

It also announced last year the Dunant transatlantic submarine cable project connecting France and the United States. The 6,600 km cable is scheduled to come into service in 2020.

Subsea cables form the backbone of the Internet by carrying 99 percent of the world's data traffic.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Further reading: Google, Subsea Cable, Telecom
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