Google’s Equiano Cable: What Connection Will it Bring to Nigeria?
Google is furthering their footprint in Nigeria with the rollout of an underwater cable stemming from Portugal and routing to South Africa, with the first connection being made in Nigeria, with an operational go-live scheduled for December. Dubbed ‘Equiano’, this new cable is a high-capacity link that will significantly boost digital transformation efforts in the country.
Equiano is no less than 12,000km of cable that was completed in April of 2022, but has not yet been switched on. The cable will also have points at Togo, Namibia, South Africa, and St Helena. What does this mean? Lower cost fast internet for the region
Its design has 20 times the capacity than any other cable that’s currently supplying the area. The Equiano subsea internet cable will no doubt positively impact connectivity, which, in turn, means better internet access in terms of speed and favorable internet tariffs. Thus, Nigeria will be benefiting from an overall enhanced user experience. This is also great news for those who love online gambling or placing a good sports wager, because there are new online casinos to choose from, where players can enjoy playing great games without the commitment of depositing any of their funds.
Google get serious in investments in South Africa
Google’s subsea cables division is gathering speed. With investments totaling a staggering $47 billion between 2016 and 2018, it’s clear that the internet giant is set on world domination not just in the digital space but in actual hardware infrastructure to support web3 and other high-speed internet operations.
Google now has 24 subsea internet cables with 134 touchpoints around the globe. This new European-African link is significant in a region where there is rapid growth in innovation that is being stifled by issues such as connectivity and rolling blackouts.
Quality and reliability of utilities a headache for tech innovation
Load shedding is something that many experience, such as South Africans who have to deal with two hour outages on a daily basis.
However, even when the electricity is cut, internet access can still be available, when a battery is used to power a router and a laptop is fully charged or connected to a power bank. This is excellent news for personal use, but can also be used in business, where a lean technology hardware setup with cloud storage and operations allows people to work even when the power is out.
Nigeria’s growing tech industry is the largest within the continent, and represents 14% of the country’s GDP, so new projects to support the sector are desperately needed to fuel this growth and innovation, plus attract talent to the country.
The growth in Africa overall in tech and business over the past few years has certainly been interesting to watch. However, these headaches often mean that when companies become successful, that they choose to move their operations to overseas locations to be able to do work more efficiently and effectively.
Projects like Equiano can help keep money within the country, and allow for significant growth to occur, unfettered by utility issues.
Google and digital transformation in Africa
Google knows that by helping Africans do business better, they’re helping Google do business better. By making Africa wealthier by keeping money in the country, they will also be able to offer their own products to a wider audience. Products such as Google Ads and Google Cloud Platform have helped Alphabet, Google’s umbrella company, earn a tidy $200 billion USD in 2021. This is significantly more than the previous years, representing almost 30% growth year on year, and their largest annual revenue jump to date.
With more investment into the African markets, Google can also drive their own revenues up by association. As part of a five year $1 billion plan for boosting services in the region, which is now a year in, the company is planning to provide affordable access, business support for digital transformation, investment into entrepreneurs and nonprofits. There are various projects underway, such as the Africa Investment Fund, the Black Founders Fund, the Google Hustle Academy, and more.
It’s an exciting time for tech and business in Africa and Nigeria, so its no wonder that Google wants to get in on the action and establish strong relationships now, rather that let competitors get a better foothold.