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WIOCC Mauritius Joins Indian Ocean Submarine Cable Project Consortium

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Facebook and a team of African and global telecoms companies including Mauritius-based WIOCC will add four more countries to its largest undersea cable project in the world, expanding the construction project in Africa ahead of schedule, they announced in a joint statement on Monday.

The project consortium, called 2Africa, includes South Africa’s MTN (MTNJ.J) GlobalConnect, Facebook (FB.O), Mauritian infrastructure provider WIOCC, China Mobile International (0941.HK), France’s Orange SA (ORAN.PA ), Saudi Arabia’s stc, Telecom Egypt (ETEL.CA) and Vodafone (VOD.L).

Internet connectivity will be extended to the Seychelles, Comoros, Angola and will bring a new landing point in south-eastern Nigeria. This is in addition to the recently announced extension to the Canary Islands, the companies said.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to deploy the new “branches”, which will increase 2Africa’s number of landings to 35 in 26 countries, further improving connectivity to and around Africa, they added.

“The bulk of the submarine route design activity is now complete. ASN has begun manufacturing the cable and building transponder units at its Calais and Greenwich plants to deploy the first segments in 2022,” the companies said.

The consortium launched the cable, which is expected to go live in late 2023, in May 2020 to connect these countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Submarine cables are the backbone of the internet, carrying 99% of global data traffic.

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