Google, in partnership with West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), announced on Thursday at a virtual launch event the landing of its state-of-the-art Equiano submarine cable in Nigeria which is set to significantly impact the country’s overall internet demand.
Named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, the Equiano cable has a capacity of 144 terabits (18 Terabytes) and according to Google will be introducing 20 times more power and higher levels of durability than the last cable built to serve the West African region. The Equiano cable will help support further digital transformation in Nigeria with the country currently experiencing an unprecedented uprising of startup unicorns.
This development will improve Nigeria’s internet usage directly whilst also boosting the country’s economy indirectly. Research suggests that internet speeds will be six times faster and internet retail prices will reduce by 21 per cent. The cable is also projected to boost the country’s GDP and also create over 1.6 million more employment opportunities in three years. It is also environmentally friendly, as it will reduce CO2 emission
“Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria.” Juliet Ehimuan, Director, West Africa at Google commented on the landing of the cable in Lagos. “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 being part of Africa’s digital transformation,” she stated.
Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, stated some of the benefits of the development to Nigeria. “The Equiano cable will deliver improved internet quality, speeds and affordability to the people of Nigeria. However, for the benefits to be fully felt throughout Nigeria, hyper-scale connectivity needs to be extended from the Lagos area to the rest of the country. To make this happen, WIOCC is also deploying a comprehensive, hyper-scale national fibre network. The network will go live in phases, starting in June and continuing through to the end of the year. When combined with the Equiano cable this network will deliver transformational benefits across the country,” he stated.