Google’s Equiano submarine cable lands in Lagos

Eberechukwu Etike
Google

Google’s Equiano mega subsea cable has been brought to Lagos, Nigeria, a month after its first African landing in Togo.

The second African landing of the cable system will be situated in the Lekki Peninsula area of Lagos. The announcement was made in a Twitter post today, April 21, 2022, and came just in time for the overly anticipated commercial launch of the system later in the year.

Equiano, the subsea cable which started in Western Europe, currently runs across the West African coast and connects Portugal and South Africa. It hopes to branch units and extend connectivity to more African countries.

With the support of Google’s partner, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), an investor in the Eastern African Submarine System (EASSy) submarine cable, it has also raised US$200 million recently to help build data centres and other ICT infrastructure in Africa.

Nigeria to build out its digital economy

According to recent research conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, it was discovered that the presence of Equiano in Nigeria will be beneficial for economic growth and increase internet speeds in the West African nation by almost sixfold before the year 2025.

The analysis has proven that it will decline retail internet prices by 21% over the same period of time. The study found out that with the presence of Equiano, the Nigeria GDP is forecast to be US$10.1 billion higher by the year 2025.

The Equiano cable coming ashore in Lagos
Source: TechCentral

As the country with the largest economy in the Sub- Saharan Africa, many Nigerians, millions if we regard a number, still do not use the internet and the number keeps doubling.

Many people lack affordable and quality access to contribute to and benefit from the digital economy of the world. However, since 2017, the Nigerian government has shown some form of support for digital transformation programs and startups.

Though studies suggest that faster internet connections, better user experiences, and reduced internet costs will help accelerate these benefits.

Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa at Google commenting on the landing of Equiano in Nigeria said, “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria. We’ve worked with established partners and in-country experts to guarantee that Equiano has the greatest potential effect in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

“Equiano is set to make an enduring contribution towards the development of Nigeria’s communications infrastructure and today marks another major step in its development. We look forward to honouring our commitment to be part of Africa’s digital transformation.”

Moving West African internet capacity forward

Google’s private subsea cables naming are often after prominent persons and Equiano is not any different.

Named after Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian abolitionist and writer who was a slave, this landing feels more like a homecoming for Nigeria. Equiano is a significant infrastructure focused on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region.

Source: Submarine Networks

From data centres and cloud regions to subsea cables, Google has stayed dedicated to its digital transformation agenda.

Equiano is Google’s 14th investment in internet subsea cables. Although it started in 2016, and in different parts of the world, Equiano’s first landing in Africa came after the $1 billion investment to support Africa’s digital transformation.

Its main goal in Africa is dedicated to providing internet access in Africa and a conduit between Europe and Africa.


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