New Subsea Cable Connects UK to Africa, Boosting Digital Commerce

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The 2Africa subsea cable, touted as the world’s largest, now includes a direct connection to the UK thanks to Vodafone’s involvement. This ambitious project highlights significant global collaboration, with key partners including Bayobab, Center3, China Mobile International, Meta, Orange, Telecom Egypt, and WIOCC. The inclusion of both US and Chinese interests is particularly remarkable, showcasing cooperation despite ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Stretching over 45,000 kilometers, the 2Africa cable network spans from the UK to Spain and along almost the entire African coastline. A new branch extending to India is also underway. The system will eventually connect 33 countries across three continents, underscoring its vast reach and potential impact.

Vodafone’s role in the project includes ownership of dual fibre cables named SHARP (System Honouring the Achievements of Rick Perry), after Vodafone Group’s Head of Subsea Partnerships. Perry expressed enthusiasm about the project’s progress, emphasizing its importance in bridging the digital divide in Africa. He noted the SHARP system’s operational status and its landing in Bude, Cornwall.

The 2Africa cable is expected to enhance digital commerce opportunities between the UK and Africa. Vodafone, leveraging expertise gained from its 2012 acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, has served as the landing partner for 11 locations, including in South Africa. The company will also provide additional connectivity via two terrestrial fibre routes linking to the London area.

This development marks a significant step forward in global digital infrastructure, fostering increased connectivity and economic opportunities across continents.

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