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WIOCC lands world’s largest subsea cable system in KwaZulu-Natal

  • Arrival of transformational 2Africa subsea cable will more than double South Africa’s total subsea capacity inventory and help accelerate growth of the country’s digital economy. 
  • Landing 2Africa into the open access, carrier-neutral data centre, OADC Durban, will enable organisations to access this international connectivity easily and quickly extend their operations in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and elsewhere in South Africa.

06 February 2023 – WIOCC, Africa’s digital backbone, has landed 2Africa – the world’s largest subsea cable system – into world-class, carrier-neutral data centre OADC Durban, owned and operated by WIOCC Group company, Open Access Data Centres (OADC), in KZN, South Africa. This offers the province and country a huge increase in international capacity and the promise of more reliable internet and other connectivity services.

WIOCC Group Chief Executive Officer, Chris Wood, commented:

“This latest major international cable landing is another example of WIOCC Group playing a key role in building Africa’s digital infrastructure and accelerating the continent’s digital transformation through the delivery of converged open digital infrastructure.

We are pleased to be working with our partners in the 2Africa project, bringing faster, more reliable internet to local businesses and consumers, and making an enduring contribution to communications in Africa. The subsea cable system is enabling more communities to access transformative online resources, from education and healthcare to jobs and financial services, and experience the economic and social benefits of seamless connectivity.” 

Economic benefits

The 2Africa cable project was launched in May 2020 to significantly increase the capacity, quality and availability of internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world, and a recent study by RTI International predicts that within two to three years of becoming operational, 2Africa will spur economic impact worth US$26.2 billion to US$36.9 billion, equivalent to 0.42-0.58% of Africa’s GDP. 

The arrival of the 45,000km, 180 Terabits per second (Tbps) 2Africa cable system in Amanzimtoti, 25km south of Durban, will bring much-needed additional international capacity for internet and other services, support high-speed internet delivery and provide greater diversity, which will benefit businesses and individuals throughout South Africa. 

Benefits of Amanzimtoti landing

This landing, into OADC’s 4MW-capable open access OADC Durban facility in Amanzimtoti, is 2Africa’s fourth on the coast of South Africa – two in the Western Cape (Yzerfontein and Duynefontein) and one in the Eastern Cape (Gqeberha). 

  • Service uptime can be maximised by utilising this new OADC Durban-2Africa route for international traffic because, apart from the METISS system, no other international cable lands in Amanzimtoti.   
  • Organisations can quickly and easily access 2Africa’s international connectivity to extend their operations in KZN and elsewhere in South Africa, as OADC Durban is open access and carrier-neutral.
  • The cable system’s landing in Amanzimtoti also offers the potential for increased regional job creation in sectors that rely on direct international connectivity, such as data centres, call centres and software development, which can help contribute to both local and national socio-economic development. 

OADC Durban went live in April 2022 and will ultimately deliver 4,200m2 of flexible space, supporting 2,000m² of IT white space, as well as A-Grade tech park office space. It delivers the location, scale and client focus required to maximise opportunities for carriers, content providers, fixed and mobile network operators, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to host their equipment and applications, and to increase the speed and reliability of the connectivity and services they provide to their customers.

Landing 2Africa into carrier-neutral OADC Durban ensures that service providers are able to access international capacity and onward, domestic and intra-Africa connectivity on a fair and equitable basis, which will encourage and support the development of a healthy internet ecosystem. Once the system has been fully deployed, businesses and consumers will benefit from improved quality, reliability and lower latency for internet services, including telecommuting, high-definition video streaming and advanced multimedia and mobile video applications.  

The 2Africa project underpins further growth of 4G, the continued roll-out of 5G and fixed broadband access, by providing improved connectivity to underserved and rural areas; and network resilience between KZN and the rest of South Africa. As a gateway to international connectivity, the cable’s landing in Amanzimtoti will also help to drive the upgrade and expansion of telecommunications networks in KZN and surrounding provinces. 

Wood concluded, “As a fibre pair investor in the 2Africa systems, we are greatly expanding and diversifying WIOCC’s capacity inventory to ensure that we continue to serve the evolving needs of our content provider and cloud operator clients, as well as those of the wider wholesale community.” 

Further information can be found on the 2Africa website at  

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About WIOCC – 

WIOCC is the leading player in the deployment of carrier-scale, future-proofed network infrastructure into Africa. We have the flexibility and scale to meet the ever-growing demand for reliable, high-speed capacity throughout Africa, driven by end consumers, enterprise users and the ecosystem that supports them. 

Our policy of continual investment in our network to create Africa’s first, truly hyperscale network infrastructure means ongoing investment for growth, ensuring our readiness to meet the future data volume demands of end users throughout Africa. 

Operating exclusively as a wholesaler, we have revolutionised the delivery of high-capacity connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world. Widely recognised as Africa’s carriers’ carrier, we offer carriers, content providers, cloud operators, ISPs and mobile operators reliable, seamless, high-capacity connectivity between more than 30 African countries and key global financial and commercial centres. 

Our focus on building and maintaining strong, long-term relationships with each client enables us to develop bespoke solutions that meet their current requirements and have the capability to match future demands for growth, extra resilience and geographical expansion. 

About 2Africa – 

The 2Africa cable consortium partners are China Mobile International, Meta (formerly Facebook), MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, center3 (saudi telecom company), Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom and WIOCC. 

Manufactured and being deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), the 45,000km 2Africa cable system has a design capacity of up to 180Tbps and will interconnect 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East when it is completed in 2024.  

Delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, 2Africa will provide much-needed internet capacity and reliability, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people.  

The 2Africa East cable system, of which the Amanzimtoti branch is a part, will be ready for service (RFS) by the fourth quarter of 2023. The RFS for 2Africa West is 2024.