Equiano lands in Lagos, set to boost internet connectivity and slash prices

With a design capacity roughly 20 times larger than any other cable currently serving the region, the Equiano subsea internet cable will have a direct impact on connectivity, resulting in faster internet speeds, reduced internet prices and improved user experience in Nigeria.

Equiano lands in Lagos, set to boost internet connectivity and slash prices

Google and cable landing partner WIOCC has announced the landing of the state-of-the-art Equiano subsea cable in Lagos, Nigeria. The internet cable will become a crucial element in meeting Nigeria’s current and future international connectivity demands.

The Equiano cable will start in Portugal in Western Europe, run more than 12,000km along the West Coast of Africa and initially land in Lomé, Togo. Then it will run through Lagos, Nigeria to Swakopmund, Namibia and Rupert’s Bay, Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand, South Africa. The cable will establish a valuable new high-capacity connection between the African continent and Europe.

Named after Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, the Equiano cable will help support further digital transformation in Nigeria, a country which has produced five start-up unicorns (companies now valued at more than $1 billion) in the past five years.

How Equiano would benefit Nigeria

A recent impact assessment study by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics stated that once the state-of-the-art, high-capacity Equiano cable becomes fully operational, (which is anticipated later this year), it is expected to bring the following benefits to Nigeria:

  • Increase internet speeds by a factor of six
  • Reduce internet retail prices by 21%
  • Increase internet penetration by six percentage points
  • Boost GDP by USD 10.1 billion by 2025
  • Boost job creation by 1.6 million jobs by 2025
  • Save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum

The Nigerian government has also stepped up its digital transformation programs since 2017. These initiatives have proven to be crucial to the success of many industries in the country, especially the startup space. Even so, studies suggest that faster internet connections, better user experiences, and reduced internet costs will further accelerate these benefits.

Commenting on the landing of Equiano in Nigeria, the Director, Google West Africa Juliet Ehimuan, said: “Google is committed to supporting Africa’s digital transformation and we are excited to see the impact of the landing of Equiano in Nigeria.

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 be part of Africa’s digital transformation,” Ehimuan added.

The project will be handled by WIOCC, which is the leading player in the deployment of carrier-scale, future-proofed network infrastructure into Africa. They have the flexibility and scale to meet the ever-growing demand for reliable, high-speed capacity throughout Africa, driven by end consumers, enterprise users and the ecosystem that supports them.

Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WIOCC, stated: “We are proud to have been selected by Google as the landing partner for the Equiano cable in Nigeria, landing the cable directly into the OADC Lagos data centre. From there it will be extended to other data centres across Lagos."

He added: “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, hyperscale 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, hyperscale 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”.

Last month, the Equiano subsea cable made its first landing in Africa in Lomé, Togo, as a confirmation of the commitment made at the Google for Africa 2021 event to help increase internet access across Africa.