e&: 2Africa Cable Anchoring Boosts UAE Digital Hub



e& Carrier and Wholesale has announced its role as the anchor for the 2Africa cable’s landing in the Kalba region of Fujairah, situated in the northeast of the United Arab Emirates. The extensive 45,000km system, connecting three continents, will integrate with e&’s SmartHub Data Centre, complementing its Fujairah landing station and enhancing the country’s infrastructure diversity.

The 2Africa project, supported by Meta and constructed by the 2Africa consortium, featuring China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone/Vodacom, Bayobab, centre3, and the West Indian Ocean Cable Company, stands as the world’s longest subsea cable initiative. Alcatel Submarine Networks oversees the manufacturing and deployment of the cable.

Having already established connections across three continents, 2Africa’s Mediterranean segment became operational in some locations in late 2023, with full operational status expected by late 2024. Notably, the Egypt terrestrial crossing, linking landing sites on the Red and Mediterranean Seas through two distinct terrestrial routes, was completed ahead of schedule. Additionally, a third marine path via the Red Sea will complement this segment. Vodafone recently announced a Crete landing set to be completed by the second half of 2024, and the official launch of the Mozambique landing occurred in January.

With approximately 20 subsea cable systems landing in the UAE, the majority managed by e&, the company is designated as the landing partner for 2Africa in the UAE. E& will lead the infrastructure development and ensure its maintenance, solidifying the country’s position as a premier ICT hub in the region.

Nabil Baccouche, e& group chief carrier and wholesale officer, stated, “The 2Africa project promises to elevate the overall digital landscape in the region, solidifying the country’s position as one of the region’s premier ICT hubs. e&’s involvement in this transformative project will significantly enhance the internet user experience in the UAE, enabling the world’s largest content providers and global carriers to deliver cutting edge technology in e& carrier-neutral data centre ecosystem, SmartHub.”

In addition to its role in the 2Africa project, E& Carrier & Wholesale disclosed the expansion of its Uptime Tier III certified SmartHub data centre to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. This new facility, the fifth Tier III data centre alongside existing ones in Fujairah 1 and 2, Dubai, and Kalba, holds an ESTIDAMA Pearl rating of 4 for sustainable design, construction, and operation, as well as a USGBC LEED Gold certification, ensuring compliance with stringent environmental standards.

Nabil Baccouche emphasized, “Our footprint expansion is aligned with e&’s long term vision of creating a digitally empowered world through innovation and digitisation. With the UAE today playing a key role in the global economy, we are committed to delivering world-class connectivity solutions, facilitating global trade and investment. The hi-tech infrastructure and strategic location of Abu Dhabi will be a valuable asset to our customers and the wider business community.

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