It’s a rather unknown fact, but Marseille is now at the center of global Internet traffic. And that is not about to change. The largest submarine cable project in the world which will link Africa, Europe and Asia has just been launched in the city of Marseille using fiber optics. This initiative called 2AFrica brings together Meta, MTN Global Connect, Orange STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and even China Mobile International. It measures more than 45,000 kilometers, which is a little more than the circumference of the Earth.
A global hub for the Internet
The landing operation at the Marseille station took place last week after similar operations carried out in Genoa and Barcelona. Enough to allow the city to confirm its status as a major global internet hub via fiber optics.
Quoted by our colleagues from the Digital FactoryCynthia Perret, director of the 2Africa cable program specifies as well as “ the Eastern part of the Mediterranean will be commissioned during the 1st half of 2023, the Western part will be in the 1st half of 2024. “What to allow” to increase the bandwidth in Africa and to deploy new uses and digital systems with much greater reliability, safety and speed than today. »
This project is not an easy task. If its cost has not been communicated, the cable has a capacity of 180 Tb/s and includes 16 pairs of fiber. It will connect 46 landing stations located around the world. This will connect more than 3 billion people to the Internet.
Marseille has established itself as a nerve center of world traffic, with its 16 submarine cables, which encourage the construction of data centers there! The city has thus gone from 44th Internet hub in 2014, to 9th in 2019, then 7th in 2021.pic.twitter.com/E5AYrXV0Kb https://t.co/JWt2A2zsDh
— Aymeric Pontier (@aympontier) November 15, 2022
While it was still 44th seven years ago, the city in the south of France currently occupies 7th place in the world internet hubs ranking, and could even move up to 5th place soon. As explained The echoestoday there are 16 submarine fiber optic cables running through Marseille, not counting the 2AFrica project.
It must be said that Marseille has great advantages to win. It indeed serves the Maghreb and the rest of Africa, but can also address the Middle East and India via the Suez Canal. Terrestrial coverage is also not a concern, in particular by relying on the hubs of Paris and Frankfurt. All this allows Marseille to position itself against rivals such as Genoa, Barcelona, and Lisbon, report our colleagues. Another advantage of the city in the eyes of investors (telecom operators and web giants): Marseille is home to a large number of data centers, which simplifies operations and data management for them.