Google recently announced their latest private under-sea cable, Equiano, which will run from Portugal to South Africa. The operation will be managed by Alcatel Submarine Networks, a French cable manufacturing and installation company owned by Finnish Nokia Group. ASN has installed over 590,000 km (366,600 miles) of cables at the bottom of the ocean, and they have commissioned over 200 fiber optic systems.
Connecting the planet
This will be Google’s third private cable after Dunant – between Europe and the United States, and Curie – running from the United States to Chile. The initial phase of the new cable is set to be completed in 2021. Google is also in a partnership consisting of several cable companies that run cables across the planet.
According to Google, Equiano will be the first under-sea cable that utilizes optical switching at the fiber pair level, which makes necessary capacity distribution a lot simpler.
Google also emphasizes that Equiano is capable of carrying around 20 times more than the previous cable that was established to serve this area. The cable will present a number of branching units that can be utilized to make connections to other countries as well. The first branch will link Equiano to Lagos, Nigeria, with other branches still to come at a later stage.
Data center in SA?
In contrast to a few of its competitors, at the moment Google doesn’t run any data centers in the continent of Africa, and they haven’t revealed any intention of doing so. This means that rapid and reliable connections to Europe are that much more essential. There is of course the possibility that Google is laying this cable in preparation for the launch of a new South African data center, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.