Namibia's state-owned telco Telecom Namibia has done a deal with another provider, Sparkle, to secure capacity on Google’s Equiano subsea cable.

Google Africa map Equiano  lead.png
The route of Google's Equiano cable – Google / DCD

Sparkle, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia (TIM), said it will provide Telecom Namibia with extra Internet capacity and a diversified, low-latency route between Africa and Europe.

The companies did not disclose how much capacity Telecom Namibia would receive.

Stanley Shanapinda, CEO of Telecom Namibia, said: “The Equiano cable’s high speed, low-latency connection will serve as a catalyst for innovation and economic growth across the nation.”

He added that the deal will support the country’s digital development and the growing demand for data from neighboring countries.

Sparkle said the deal will help to build network resilience in light of recent outages on the SAT-3 and WACS cables. In March, four cables - MainOne, SAT-3, ACE, and WACS - were damaged by an undersea landslide off the coast of West Africa.

Telecom Namibia is a member of the SAT-3 and WACS cable consortiums, although only WACS has a landing station in the country. The landing station for the Equiano cable was co-built by Telecom Namibia and Paratus Group and was switched on in June 2023.

The telco signed a $5.5 million deal with Huawei to deliver a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) core network in November 2023 and a $17.5 million network modernization agreement with Spanish company SATEC in June 2023.

In October 2023, Telecom Namibia also said it would build 500 telecom towers over the next five years.

Sparkle operates data centers in Greece, Sicily, and Turkey, and is also part of the BlueRamen cable consortium, with the Mediterranean section known as BlueMed. Sparkle announced plans for a new GreenMed cable in the Adriatic Sea earlier this year.

The company is also an investor in the Italy-Monaco, Italy-Albania, Italy-Croatia, Italy-Malta, Trapani-Kelibia, MedNautilus, IMEWE, SeaMeWe-3, and SeaMeWe-5 cables.

Investment firm KKR is looking to acquire Sparkle as TIM looks to dispose of some of its assets.