Bayobab and Africa50, two prominent players in the telecommunications and infrastructure sectors, have joined forces to invest USD 320 million in the development of a pan-African terrestrial fibre optic cable network. The project, known as Project East2West, aims to connect the eastern shores of Africa with the western coast, enhancing connectivity and bridging the digital divide across the continent.
Also Read: MTN GlobalConnect Rebrands as Bayobab, Paving the Way for African Digital Connectivity
Bridging the Digital Divide: Project East2West
The investment will involve connecting ten African countries over the years 2023, 2024, and 2025. Bayobab, a subsidiary of MTN Group, will lead the initiative as part of MTN's Ambition 2025 plans to expand its proprietary fibre infrastructure to 135,000 km within the next three years.
Project East2West holds immense potential for landlocked African countries, as it is expected to significantly improve latency and increase capacity for high-quality broadband access. According to the statement, this development will level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for success in the digital world.
Also Read: MTN Group to Invest $1 Billion in Ghana for 5G Rollout
Benefits for Internet Service Providers and Operators
The partnership between Bayobab and Africa50 will benefit internet service providers, mobile network operators, and hyper scalers operating in the region by delivering substantial improvements in data traffic.
Furthermore, it will address bottlenecks in global internet traffic landing in and going out of Africa, resulting in a potential reduction of latency by up to 65 percent on the east-to-west route, according to the statement.
Africa50, as a co-developer of the project, aims to facilitate regional data harmonization, promote the consumption of local content, and drive inter-regional exchanges and economic development.
Also Read: MTN South Africa Selects Nokia for 5G Expansion
Project East2West is a transformative endeavour that would significantly expand Africa's internet capacity and support the growth of 4G and 5G technologies.
Completion Expected by 2025
The completion of Project East2West is anticipated by 2025, marking a significant milestone in Africa's quest to make the Internet accessible to its growing population. The investment and collaborative efforts of Bayobab and Africa50 promise to create a lasting impact on connectivity and digital transformation across the continent.
Also Read: Airtel Kenya Sets New Brand Positioning, Launches VoLTE Service
Africa50 currently has 34 shareholders, comprised of 31 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib. Bayobab, previously known as MTN GlobalConnect, is a pan-African digital connectivity solutions company.