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Equiano, the submarine cable that connects Africa to Europe, is arriving in Portugal. Equiano, which was introduced three years ago, starts in Western Europe and runs along the west coast of Africa and connects Portugal to South Africa, increasing connectivity and opportunities for engagement between European and African countries.

This cape, named after Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a child, offers state-of-the-art infrastructure. The space division multiplexing (SDM) technology on which Equiano is based will increase cable capacity in the region for a variety of network operators and Internet service providers in Europe and Africa.either for your own use or to provide to third parties. Thanks to its branching units along the route, this system will provide the flexibility to dynamically respond to the capacity needs of these network operators as well as Google Cloud customers - and will create opportunities to extend connectivity to other African countries in the coming years. years, increasing the value of this infrastructure in many areas.

These connectivity improvements represent a great opportunity for Portugal, which in recent years has become a hub for submarine cables, not only due to its strategic geographic position but also due to the country’s focus on developing and strengthening its digital economy. Thanks to the EllaLink cable, the submarine cable that connects Portugal to Brazil and Equiano, Portugal can count on strong improvements in terms of greater bandwidth and reduced latency, which in the end will have a positive impact on commerce and the economy. According to a study by Copenhagen Economics :

- Connectivity has a direct impact on trade, with exports increasing by up to 8% when the number of internet cables is doubled.
- The potential long-term impact associated with improving Portugal’s digital infrastructure could be up to €500 million more per year in GDP .
- Cable projects such as EllaLink and Equiano can support operational telecom partners that provide efficient, high-quality broadband access, benefiting a broad set of end users.

But Portugal, and Europe in general, are not the only areas that will benefit from Equiano: we know that Africa is the continent with the population that, among its peers, is the least digitally connected with an Internet penetration rate of 39% in 2020 against 63% in the rest of the world. Equiano is expected to facilitate an inclusive digital transformation in Africa, bringing significant connectivity improvements to people, businesses and governments in many African countries that are currently under-connected. This includes Nigeria and Togo, where we took Equiano earlier this year in close partnership with leading telecommunications companies West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) and Société d’infrastructures numériques and CSquared, respectively. The next places the cable will arrive this year include Namibia and South Africa.

From the world’s new Cloud Regions to undersea cables, we are dedicated to developing an infrastructure - together with strategic partners - that helps our customers connect with more people than ever before. Our infrastructure investments aim to further strengthen our network that helps improve global connectivity by supporting Google Cloud users and customers.”

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