Openserve gets capacity on Google’s monster undersea cable

Openserve has confirmed that it will have access to a fibre pair on Google’s Equiano undersea cable system.

Each fibre pair offers 12 terabits per second (Tbps) capacity, and the cable has twelve fibre pairs.

According to Openserve, future upgrades could allow speeds of up to 16Tbps on each fibre pair.

Two other network operators have revealed that they’ve bought a fibre pair on the cable — Liquid Intelligent Technologies and WIOCC.

Equiano landed at Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape two weeks ago at Openserve’s cable landing station. From there it will connect to South Africa’s carrier-neutral data centres.

“The landing of the Equiano undersea cable marks a significant moment for the SA telecommunications industry,” said Openserve chief executive officer Althon Beukes.

Althon Beukes, Openserve CEO

Beukes said Equiano gives Openserve access to a new submarine system offering connectivity to Europe, providing additional route diversity for international communications.

“In the initial design, Openserve will have 12Tbps capacity with current technology and 16Tbps will be possible with upgrades,” he said.

“The arrival of Equiano will also have a meaningful impact on the domestic economy through encouraging digital inclusion by making connectivity accessible to more South Africans.”

Equiano runs from Western Europe, along the west coast of Africa to South Africa.

It is the first submarine cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level as opposed to traditional wavelength-level switching.

Google’s private undersea cable has a design capacity of 144Tbps — seven times larger than the ACE undersea cable and ten times larger than WACS.

Equiano landed in Swakopmund, Namibia at the beginning of July — three months after it arrived in Nigeria.

It stretches from the coast of Portugal with landing stations in St Helena Island, Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa as the final point.

Google has made provision for the cable to land at other African countries.

“We are committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited by the possibilities brought about by the arrival of the Equiano subsea cable to its final destination,” said Google Sub-Saharan Africa managing director Nitin Gajria.

“We have partnered with Telkom/Openserve on this initiative and hope it will be a great catalyst to help grow the economy.”

Equiano will be operational in 2022, the two companies said.

Now read: Openserve to separate from Telkom

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