The Ile de Sein Has Landed 2Africa in Marseille

The cable ship Ile de Sein has connected the 2Africa cable to the landing station built in the enclosure of the port of Marseille-FoBy Nathalie Bureau du Colombier,
November 8, 2022

A first in the history of the port of Marseille-Fos was carried out this Sunday, November 6, 2022. The cable ship Ile de Sein, stationed perpendicular to the Digue du Large, connected the 2Africa cable to the landing station built in the enclosure of the port. With its 47,000 km in length, it holds the record for the longest internet cable in the world.

Unusual maritime scene, this morning of November 6 in the harbor of the port of Marseille, where the Ile de Sein, assisted by a team of divers from Travocean, connected Marseille to the 2Africa submarine cable.

The operation, which took place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., consisted in connecting the on-board cable to the ground. This first connection, in one of the six ducts specially fitted out by the GPMM, offers numerous advantages, in terms of safety and operations, compared to burying the cable on the Prado beach. A strategic location also given the proximity of the data centers.
Significant drilling work was carried out to allow the cable to cross the dike, the port basin to emerge at the level of the Pinède car terminal where the landing chamber was built.
“  2Africa will be the first cable pulled through the port infrastructure. The presence of the ducts avoids having to make trenches on the beach  ”, underlines Frédéric Cazeneuve, Project Marine Manager of Alcatel Submarine Networks, in charge of the manufacture and installation of the system.

At the end of the afternoon, the Ile de Sein gradually moved away from the port, unrolling the submarine cable mile after mile towards Barcelona. Once this segment has been laid, the Alcatel Submarine Networks ship will return to Marseille for a second landing and a connection to Genoa. 2Africa will span 47,000 km and connect the entire African continent.

“  The system is so large that we are installing it simultaneously in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Currently, three boats are mobilised: the Ile de sein in the Mediterranean, the Ile de Batz in the Red Sea and the Niwa (chartered to E-Marine, editor's note) off Kenya in East Africa. By the end of 2022, Ile de Bréhat will be mobilized in South Africa and Mozambique and Ile d'Aix will join the campaign to work in the Red Sea », Details Frédéric Cazeneuve.
Or the entire ASN fleet serving 2Africa, a consortium of international operators led by Meta (Facebook) and involving Britain's Vodafone, Orange, but also China Mobile, Saudi Telecom, MTN Global Connect and Telecom Egypt.
On completion of the installation of 2Africa, scheduled for the end of 2024, 33 countries will be connected, 16 of which for the first time, with reliable very high-speed Internet access.
2Africa will be the sixteenth submarine cable to connect Marseille, a city that is gearing up to make a leap in the global ranking of connectivity hubs, from 7th to  5th place in 2023.

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