Google’s Equiano cable lands at Swakopmund, Namibia

Google's Equiano cable lands at Swakopmund, Namibia
Equiano cable at Swakopmund, Namibia

Paratus Group has announced the landing of Google’s Equiano subsea cable at Swakopmund in Namibia. The cable will provide communications diversity, faster internet speeds, more flexibility in the market and an improved user experience for consumers.

The telco was selected together with state owned Telecom Namibia to build the cable landing station (CLS) for the Equiano subsea internet cable in the Southern African nation.

The cable will become fully operational in Q4 this year, and is expected to deliver up to 20 times more capacity than was previously available in Namibia.

According to a recent economic impact assessment, Equiano’s arrival in Namibia is set to increase internet speeds by over 2.5 times; increase internet penetration by 7.5% in the next three years; and act as a catalyst for considerable growth, job creation and sustainability.   

Commenting on the landing, Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa said: “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Namibia.”

Paratus completed the building of the CLS in September last year, and the internal fit – including power, cabling cabinets, conduits, raceways, cages, and security – was completed in January 2022.

Barney Harmse, CEO of Paratus Group, explained that: “Namibia has higher internet connection levels – at 40.5% compared with an average of 29% for sub-Saharan African countries – but has relied upon the West Africa Cable System (WACS) for its international connectivity until now.  The landing of the Equiano cable will significantly increase Namibia’s international bandwidth capacity as it is four times greater than WACS.  This will not only ensure better stability of connectivity in the country, but also lower latency and higher speeds in global transmission of data.   

“This is a landmark event and a great day for Namibia’s digital transformation.  We are very proud to be the Google landing partner, and infrastructure partner with Telecom Namibia, to deliver better connectivity to everyone in Namibia.” 

Telecom Namibia CEO, Dr Stanley Shanapinda said: “The Google Equiano Cable shore landing is a major step in the development of our national telecommunications infrastructure. This cable will become a critical element in meeting Namibia’s current and future international connectivity demands, as the cable incorporates new technology that enables approximately 20 times more network capacity than the current WACS cable.”

“Improved connectivity will accelerate job creation. Between 2022 and 2025, Equiano is expected to indirectly create 21,000 jobs in Namibia, driven by the expansion of the digital economy and associated business sectors, added Shanapinda.

Harmse concludes: “Equiano will make an enduring and valuable contribution towards the development of Namibia’s communications infrastructure. We are proud partners in this intervention to deliver improved internet quality to the people of Namibia.  And this is just one intervention in which Paratus is involved towards the shared goal of transforming Africa through digital access to more information and content.”