8Google has announced a new subsea high speed data cable, Equiano to connect Africa and Europe.
To extend connectivity to additional African countries, Equiano is a private submarine cable will start in Western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa with branches along the way.
The first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is slated to be finished in 2021, while first branch is slated to land in Nigeria.
Equiano is Google’s third private cable, following on the heels of Dunant (between Europe and the U.S.) and Curie, which runs between the U.S. and Chile.
Over the last three years, Google has invested $47 billion to improve its global infrastructure. Google has a total of 14 investments in international cables, including joint ventures.
The Equiano cable, which will be laid by Alcatel Submarine Networks, will tap into space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, which will enable about 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve the region. Google is also adding SDM to the transatlantic Dunant cable, according to a Google blog.
Traditional subsea cables are powered from the shore and need a dedicated set of pump lasers to amplify the optical signal for each fiber pair as data travels the length of the cable, according to Google.
“SDM increases cable capacity in a cost-effective manner with additional fiber pairs (twelve, rather than six or eight in traditional subsea cables) and power-optimized repeater designs,” according to the blog.
“These advancements were created in partnership with SubCom, a global partner for undersea data transport, which will engineer, manufacture and install the Dunant system utilizing their SDM technology and equipment.”