Google’s submarine cable has landed in Togo. The company’s “Equiano” subsea cable with landing points in Nigeria and Namibia is expected to connect Africa to Europe.
“The Equiano cable, the first of its kind to reach Africa, has wound its way from Portugal and will double internet speed for Togo’s 8 million residents,” Google said in a statement.
The company initially debuted this form of cable in 2019 and it has already made its way around Europe.
It is expected to connect at least 300 million people to the internet over the period, providing approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built in the continent, reducing internet costs by about 21 percent.
“This type of capacity that Equiano is going to bring in will have a profound effect on internet speeds, on data costs and just the overall internet experience in the places that impacts.” Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Niton Gajria told Kenyan-born CNN Journalist Larry Madowo in an interview last year
In 2021, Google announced a $1 billion dollar investment in Africa over the next five years to build a submarine cable, support nonprofits and fund new companies.
Despite having the lowest Internet connectivity, Africa has the greatest potential for growth. According to a report by industry trade group Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), nearly 20 million more Africans subscribed to a mobile connection during the pandemic period on 2020.
Last year, Google issued a joint report with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation with a forecast of Africa’s economy to be worth $180 billion in value by 2025.
The tech giant said that there was a need to create an internet that one can interact with through voice or products that can work in local languages, based on the fact that the next one billion people will use the Internet for a different purpose than the current.
Equiano is one of two submarine cables expected to land in Africa within the next few years. Facebook backed subsea cable project, 2Africa, is also expected to connect 26 countries in the continent.