Operator also expands SmartHub data centre network to Abu Dhabi
E& Carrier and Wholesale says it will anchor the 2Africa cable’s landing in the Kalba region of Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates’ northeast. The 45,000km system which links three continents will connect into e&’s SmartHub Data Centre, which the carrier said was complementary to its Fujairah landing station, improving the country’s infrastructure diversity.
The 2Africa project, backed by Meta and built by the 2Africa consortium, which includes China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom, Bayobab, centre3 and the West Indian Ocean Cable Company, is billed as the world’s longest subsea cable project. Alcatel Submarine Networks is responsible for the cable’s manufacture and deployment.
Already landing across three continents, 2Africa is completed in the Mediterranean and was ready for service in some places from late 2023 through to being fully operational by late 2024. One of 2Africa’s key segments, the Egypt terrestrial crossing that interconnects landing sites on the Red and the Mediterranean Seas via two completely diverse terrestrial routes, was completed ahead of schedule. A third diverse marine path will complement this segment via the Red Sea. Last month, Vodafone announced a Crete landing scheduled for completion by the second half of 2024. The official launch of the Mozambique landing also took place in January.
Around 20 subsea cable systems land in the UAE and the majority of these are managed by e&. As the designated landing partner for 2Africa in the UAE, e& will lead the development of the necessary infrastructure and will be responsible for its maintenance.
“The 2Africa project promises to elevate the overall digital landscape in the region, solidifying the country’s position as one of the region’s premier ICT hubs,” said e& group chief carrier and wholesale officer Nabil Baccouche. “e&’s involvement in this transformative project will significantly enhance the internet user experience in the UAE, enabling the world’s largest content providers and global carriers to deliver cutting edge technology in e& carrier-neutral data centre ecosystem, SmartHub.”
E& Carrier & Wholesale also announced the expansion of its Uptime Tier III certified SmartHub data centre to the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. The upcoming data centre in Abu Dhabi will be the fifth Tier III data centre alongside the existing facilities in Fujairah 1 and 2, Dubai, and Kalba. The new Abu Dhabi facility features an ESTIDAMA Pearl rating of 4 for sustainable design, construction, and operation, as well as a USGBC LEED Gold certification, adhering to strict environmental standards, according to the operator.
“Our footprint expansion is aligned with e&’s long term vision of creating a digitally empowered world through innovation and digitisation,” said Baccouche. “With the UAE today playing a key role in the global economy, we are committed to delivering world-class connectivity solutions, facilitating global trade and investment. The hi-tech infrastructure and strategic location of Abu Dhabi will be a valuable asset to our customers and the wider business community.”