Cable laying work has yet to begin on the Pearls extension that will connect the 2Africa system to the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.
However, this week Etisalat’s e& said the cable will land at the company’s SmartHub data center in Kalba, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
e& group chief carrier & wholesale officer, Nabil Baccouche said: ” 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. 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 center ecosystem, SmartHub.”
This week also saw e& and 2Africa partner Telecom Egypt join forces with Indonesian telco Telin and an unnamed Indian operator for a new subsea cable project.
The companies have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a consortium to develop the ICE IV Project.
The 11,000km cable will connect Indonesia and Singapore to India, Oman, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. The cable will run through the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands in Indonesia and land in Kochi, India. Terrestrial extensions are being considered to include links between the Middle East and Egypt and between Kochi and Chennai.
The target ready-for-service date is Q4 2027.
e&’s Baccouche said: “With ICE IV Project, we’re redefining the connectivity map, bringing continents closer than ever before, and unlocking bandwidth access for billions of people With our commitment to making SmartHub a location of choice as one of the largest neutral carrier hub, the ICE IV Project will further accelerate connectivity.”
Managing director and CEO at Telecom Egypt, Mohamed Nasr, added: “Telecom Egypt is honored to collaborate with ICE partners on the construction of this remarkable project. Being a founding member of “ICE IV” is a testament of our profound belief of the importance of this critical infrastructure.”