Google has introduced Equiano, a new private subsea cable that will connect Africa with Europe.
Once complete, Equiano will start in western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries. The first branch is expected to land in Nigeria.
Google’s private subsea cables all carry the names of historical luminaries, and Equiano is no different. 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.
Equiano will be the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.
This greatly simplifies the allocation of cable capacity, giving the flexibility to add and reallocate it in different locations as needed. The first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.