Google, Facebook & Co are expanding submarine cables in Asia and Africa


Google and Facebook are investing in new and expanded submarine cable networks with regional telecommunications providers. While the “Apricot” project better connects six countries in Asia, the 2Africa network is being expanded by four new branches for additional countries and island regions. The projects should offer faster and more stable internet connections in the connected regions from 2024 and 2023 respectively.

The new Apricot submarine cable network connects Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Guam, Indonesia and the Philippines over a length of 12,000 kilometers. It is an addition to two submarine cables between the USA and Indonesia, which the two data companies have announced as “Bifrost” and “Echo”. The new project is supposed to according to Google completed in 2024 and initially offer a capacity of more than 190 terabits per second.

Facebook is also working on the criticized submarine cable project PCLN. The Pacific Light Cable Network was announced in 2017 as the first such direct connection between the USA and Hong Kong. That has been delayed given the tension between China and the US. In the end the resistance had become too strong. The last section to Hong Kong is no longer to be added. So far, the cable connects San Francisco with Taiwan and the Philippines.

Facebook is also investing in expanding the 2Africa project launched in May 2020. With a length of 37,000 kilometers, this submarine cable network is already one of the largest of its kind and continues to grow. The Seychelles, the Comoros and Angola are added as well as another landing point in the southeast of Nigeria. this announced the 2Africa consortium, which in addition to Facebook also includes telecommunications providers such as China Mobile, MTN, Orange and Vodafone.

The 2Africa network is to be relocated from 2022 and put into operation at the end of 2023. Egypt is an important hub in this. There, the consortium has already established connections across the Red Sea and the Mediterranean – faster than originally planned.


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