Google’s parent company Alphabet and other technology companies have been investing heavily in the internet infrastructure projects with public WiFi hotspots and spanning balloons. Also, these companies are taking up last mile connectivity seriously and linking broadband into long-distance fibre networks. The main objective behind these efforts is to enhance connectivity all over the world and improve their portfolio.
The internet giant Google offers a myriad of services ranging from video streaming to email and navigation to cloud computing. To offer these services uninterruptedly, the company relies on proper infrastructure and the subsea cables play a critical role in the same by increasing data transfer speed and minimising latency.
Last year, Google became the first non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable. The third international project under the company was announced recently and is called Equiano. This project starts in Lisbon, Portugal and extends to Lagos, Nigeria connecting the west coast of Africa and western Europe.
Heads up about Equiano
Google Equiano is the company’s fourteenth subsea cable investment and the third international cable. Named after Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian writer and abolitionist, this subsea cable will have three touchpoints and is the first one from Google to stretch from Europe to Africa. Google is building nine branching units into the system to make the cable more extensible and make it connect with other African countries in the future.
It is claimed that Equiano will offer 20 times more network capacity that cables serving the region right now. This is possible with the SDM (space-division multiplexing) technology it is based on.
Previous efforts taken by Google
Last year, the first fully privately funded cable called Junior from Google went into service. It runs 390km connecting Rio de Janeiro to Santos in Brazil. A couple of months back, Google came up with the first privately funded intercontinental cable called Curie spanning across 10,000km. It originates from Los Angeles and extends up to Valparaíso, Chile.
Google announced another self-owned international subsea cable dubbed Dunant running from Virginia Beach in the U.S. to Siant-Hilaire-de-Riez, France. This is expected to be launched in late 2020.
Phase 1 to be completed in 2021
Google has secured Alcatel Submarine Networks to build the cable. And, it is believed that phase one spanning from Portugal to South Africa will be completed in 2021. Notably, Equiano will be the first subsea cable incorporating optical switching at the fibre-pair level instead of the conventional wavelength-level switching approach. This will give the flexibility to add and reallocate the cable in different locations.
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.