Vodafone announces UK connection to the 2Africa subsea cable

2Africa is, apparently, the world’s largest subsea cable system, and Vodafone’s involvement in its creation has ensured a direct connection to the UK.

Scott Bicheno

June 7, 2024

2 Min Read
source: vodafone

Vodafone is one of many partners in the project, the others being Bayobab; Center3; China Mobile International; Meta; Orange; Telecom Egypt; and WIOCC. Indeed, this major engineering project is all the more impressive as a timely reminder that truly global collaboration is possible in these febrile times. The fact that US can Chinese interests are both represented is especially noteworthy, given their apparent determination to sabotage each other.

As you can see in the map below, 2Africa now runs from the UK to Spain, via almost the entire coast of the African continent. Not represented on that map is the branch that is being built connecting the network to India. When it’s completed, the cable system will be over 45,000 kilometres long and will connect 33 countries on three continents.


Vodafone owns dual fibre cables within 2Africa, which it has somewhat eccentrically named SHARP (System Honouring the Achievements of Rick Perry). Who is this legendary figure? He’s none other than Vodafone Group’s Head of Subsea Partnerships, so he has effectively named some cables after himself.

It also seems he couldn’t wait for the project to be finished before piping loads of data over his eponymous, 180 Tbps fibre. “2Africa is the world’s most ambitious cable system and will help to narrow the digital divide in Africa,” said Perry. “It’s great that the SHARP system is now online and serving customers and that it has landed in the UK.”

Specifically it now terminates at in Bude, Cornwall. The expectation is that it will enable greater digital commerce opportunities between the UK and Africa. Vodafone, which gained much of its expertise in this sort of thing when it acquired Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2012, has been the landing partner for 11 locations so far, including in South Africa. It will also provide onward connectivity via two terrestrial fibre routes linking to the London area.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the Telecoms.com newsletter here.

You May Also Like