One month after landing in Togo, Google’s giant new submarine cable, Equiano, which will connect South Africa and Europe along Africa’s west coast, has landed in Nigeria.
Equiano which promises to double the internet speed for millions in Africa landed in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and comes ahead of the anticipated commercial launch of the high-capacity system later this year.
This is Google’s 14th undersea cable investment, but the first specifically aimed at expanding internet access in Africa. The $1 billion investment in Africa, which includes a $50 million venture capital startup fund, is planned to transit from Portugal to South Africa.
Google says a recent research conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that Equiano’s arrival in Nigeria will help Internet speeds in the West African nation increase almost sixfold by 2025, with retail Internet prices expected to decline by 21pc over the same period.
Over the next five years, Google says 300 million people will come online in Africa, and the cable promises to improve connectivity and bring the benefits of technology to more Africans.
In Nigeria, the cable system is being landed by Google partner the West Indian Ocean Cable Company. WIOCC is an investor in the Eassy submarine cable on Africa’s east coast and recently raised US$200-million to build data centers and other ICT infrastructure in Africa.
Equiano will be deployed in Namibia and South Africa later this year, completing the connection between Africa and Europe.