The construction of Africa-1, a new subsea telecom system to connect Africa, the Middle East and Europe, is now under way.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), which provides all elements of turnkey global undersea transmission systems, has announced that, further to the supply contract coming into force, the members of the Africa-1 consortium have started the implementation of a new telecommunications optical submarine network.
The members of the consortium at present are Etisalat, G42, Mobily, Pakistan Telecommunication Company, Telecom Egypt and ASN, with other parties expected to join soon.
This 10,000 km cable will provide eight fibre pairs to connect Africa and the Middle East eastward to Pakistan and westward to Europe, increasing the available transmission capacity between Asia and Europe.
The Africa-1 system is expected to be ready for operation by the end of 2023 and will initially have landings in Kenya, Djibouti, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France. The system will also land in Sudan, cross Egypt through diverse new terrestrial routes on the way to France, and further connect other countries in the Mediterranean such as Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.
The next phase will include additional landings in Yemen and Somalia, as well as an extension from Kenya to South Africa with intermediate landings in Tanzania and Mozambique.
ASN says the system will be equipped from day one with ASN 1620 Softnode transmission equipment, featuring high performance 200/300/400 Gb/s advanced coherent XWAV line cards.
The partners in the project say that the Africa-1 system will support Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and other Asian countries on their journey to digital transformation, and will make it possible to transport ever-increasing volumes of traffic between the three continents.