A large portion of the 2Africa cable, connecting Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa, is now operational.

Announced by Airtel Africa on LinkedIn, the initial phase of the 2Africa cable has been set live.

Airtel Africa
– Airtel Africa on LinkedIn

At 45,000km, it is the world’s largest subsea cable and will connect 33 countries with 46 landing points across Europe, Africa, and Asia. The cable is expected to have a capacity of up to 180Tbps.

Alcatel and pan-African telco Airtel Africa activated this portion of the cable, which lands in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, and South Africa

“The activation of the 2Africa submarine cable is a monumental step in our mission to bridge the digital divide in Africa. Airtel is proud to launch the first phase of 2Africa,” said Prasanta Das Sarma, CEO of Airtel Telesonic.

Paul Gabla, chief sales and marketing officer at Airtel, added: “This partnership underscores our dedication to continuing the fast delivery of world-class SLTE (submarine line terminal equipment) technological solutions. This important milestone highlights the strength of collaboration and innovation in bringing advanced connectivity solutions to Africa through our partnership with Airtel.”

The 2Africa consortium is comprised of eight partners: Bayobab, Center3, China Mobile International, Meta, Orange, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone Group, and WIOCC. Alcatel is the manufacturer of the 16-fiber pair cable.

Part of Indian telco Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa operates across 14 countries in Africa with more than 40 Edge data centers on the continent. In addition to developing data centers in Africa, Airtel has been deploying 5G sites, the majority of which are in Nigeria and Kenya. The latter launched in July 2023, with additional sites in Zambia and Tanzania.

Last month, a report from Telecom Review Americas said Center3 was working on providing a capacity of 35Tbps on the portion of the cable between Saudi Arabia and Europe. The rest of the African portion cable will go live later this year.