Openserve has facilitated the landing of the biggest undersea cable that runs along the west coast of Africa. The Google Equiano undersea cable system arrived at the Openserve cable station facility in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town on Monday (8 August 2022).

Openserve’s cable station facility will serve as the South African landing station and will offer terrestrial services, connecting the cable landing to South African carrier-neutral data centres.

Openserve CEO Althon Beukes says: “The landing of the Equiano undersea cable marks a significant moment for the South African telecommunications industry. Openserve will have access to a new submarine system offering connectivity to Europe which will provide additional diversity for international communications.

“In the initial design, Openserve will have 12Tbp capacity, with current technology and 16Tbps will be possible with upgrades. The arrival of Equiano will also have a meaningful impact on the domestic economy through encouraging digital inclusion by making connectivity accessible to more South Africans.”

Equiano runs from western Europe, along the west coast of Africa to South Africa. It is the first submarine cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level as opposed to the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.

The private undersea cable has a capacity of 144Tbps, which is 20-times the capacity of the last cable built to serve the region.

In July, Equiano landed in Swakopmund, Namibia, and today stretches from the coast of Portugal with landing stations in St Helena Island, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia and South Africa as the final point.

Nitin Gajria, MD of Google Sub-Saharan Africa, comments: “We are committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited by the possibilities brought about by the arrival of the Equiano subsea cable to its final destination. We have partnered with Telkom/Openserve on this initiative and hope it will be a great catalyst to help grow the economy.”

The increased connectivity capacity that Equiano brings is expected to yield significant benefits for the relevant countries. This includes increased broadband penetration and higher internet usage. This will subsequently create economic benefits through the growth of the Information communications technology industry and the digital economy.

The Google Equiano undersea cable will be operational in 2022.