A large submarine cable is being built in Africa so that more of the 1.3 billion inhabitants of the African continent can go online. The report said that Facebook and China Mobile, South Africa's largest telecommunications operator MTN, France's Orange, Britain's Vodafone and local network operators have collaborated on this project called "2Africa".
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This submarine cable is built by Alcatel Submarine Networks. Facebook claims that the cable has a total length of 37,000 kilometers, which is almost the same as the Earth's circumference. It is unclear how much money Facebook and its partners have invested in the project.
Facebook said one of the main goals of the project was to bring more connectivity to Africa. Facebook wrote in a blog post that the African continent is currently the most network-poor region in the world and only a quarter of the population accesses the Internet.
Facebook also said that the project is one of the largest submarine cable projects in the world. Its capacity will exceed the current total capacity of all submarine cables in Africa. The cable will connect 23 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and establish a further connection to Asia via the Eurasian submarine cable. It is expected to go into operation in 2023 or 2024.
The Google submarine cable "Equiano" is currently being built to connect Africa and Europe. Google predicts that the submarine cable will be completed and put into operation in 2021.
Facebook previously launched an Internet project called "Aquila" that uses solar drones to transmit the Internet to remote areas. However, the project was completed in 2018. It was later reported that Facebook worked with Airbus to retest this drone in Australia.