Fifth-generation networks will account for nearly a fifth of mobile connections in the Middle East and Africa by 2025, and almost half of connections in the GCC states, according to the GSMA. With the backing of China Mobile, China Mobile International remains committed to the region, providing global network resources and integrated solutions to help carriers and businesses tap into the opportunities that 5G will bring.
As one of the industry leaders, CMI is connecting the world and driving global adoption of 5G. Its extensive global infrastructure supports customers in MEA with reliable, scalable and resilient network resources.
The 45,000-km 2Africa submarine cable is an ambitious project to interconnect Africa, Europe (eastward via Egypt) and Asia (via Saudi Arabia). It was announced by CMI and other partners in May 2020, with 26 out of a total of 46 landings completed by February this year. When 2Africa goes live in 2024, it will deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180 Terabits per second.
The only Chinese company investing in the project, CMI is committed to the further growth of 4G in MEA and the continued roll-out of 5G and fixed broadband services. Its mission is to help bring connectivity to underserved and rural areas across the region while enhancing network resilience and global connectivity to benefit businesses and individuals throughout MEA.
As a gateway to international connectivity, the 2Africa cable will also help to drive the upgrade and expansion of telecommunications networks in the region. It will offer customers seamless links between Africa and Europe, further interconnecting with CMI’s SEA-ME-WE 5 and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 subsea cable resources to extend connectivity to Asia. This will support the development of a thriving internet ecosystem, especially for underserved communities across Africa. 2Africa is an important milestone in CMI’s global development strategy. Offering ample capacity and faster transmission will allow CMI to help the nations of MEA to further develop their digital economy today and in the future.
CMI continues to enhance regional telecom infrastructure in MEA by investing in network resources and expanding its footprint to better serve local customers and support business development. CMI currently has 80 submarine and terrestrial cables that provide total network capacity of over 123 T. These include 15 submarine cables and 23 terrestrial cables in which CMI has directly invested, such as the 20,000-km undersea SMW-5 cable between Egypt and Singapore. In addition, more than 30 of CMI’s 232 points of presence are located in the Middle East and major African countries, including UAE, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Together with CMI’s 80+ cloud connect PoPs, this creates a strong global network that provides direct internet access and internet transit services for MEA at lower cost.
On March 7, CMI announced the successful launch of its Oman Muscat MC1 PoP. CMI’s second PoP in Oman is located within the carrier-neutral Equinix MC1 data center in Barka. This data center is also a landing station for multiple submarine cable systems, reinforcing the country’s importance as a network hub bridging Asia, Africa and Europe.
In coming years, the Middle East will benefit hugely from the introduction of developments like smart city technologies, digital financial services and the Internet of Vehicles. CMI continues to work with partners like Zain KSA, Etisalat Egypt and Master Power Technologies etc. in driving the development and adoption of 5G, IoT and IDC solutions to boost digital transformation and advance the region.