Africa gained new undersea cables with a combined construction cost of $12-billion between 2016 and 2021, with every major subsea deploying new cables during this timeframe.

Investment is expected to continue across all global routes. Following three straight years (2016-2018) where new subsea cable spending exceeded $2,2-billion, annual investment started to fluctuate in 2019. Looking forward, planned new cable investment could exceed $10-billion from 2022-2024.

TeleGeography, a global telecommunications market research and consulting firm, has published its brand new Submarine Cable Map and Africa Telecom Map for 2022, and projects that subsea cable spending will strengthen as hyperscalers shift their position from generating demand to generating supply.

“Our research has shown constant advancement year-on-year, as pressure for bandwidth continues to grow,” says Alan Mauldin, research director at TeleGeography. “Content providers’ international bandwidth growth has accelerated as of late. Companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Netflix have millions of users who are driving up demand every day.”

TeleGeography’s regional Africa Telecom Map highlights 71 cable systems connected to Africa that are currently active or under construction. The map covers used bandwidth, internet capacity, pricing trends, and content provider investment in both cable systems and cloud data centres. Broadband and mobile penetration rates for each country are also included in the main projection.

Notable cables featured in the new design include the African submarine cable consortium project 2Africa, which will extend 45 000 kilometers and link 33 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. This new cable could enter service as soon as 2023. Also included is Google’s private cable Equiano, which will initially link Portugal, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Togo, and St. Helena, but could expand to many other countries.

The Submarine Cable Map and Africa Telecom Map for 2022 were both sponsored by Telecom Egypt.