These new designs include cables with a combined construction cost of $12 billion that entered service between 2016 and 2021. Every major subsea route saw new cables deployed during this timeframe.
Investment is expected to continue across all global routes. Following three straight years (2016-2018) where new subsea cable spending exceeded $2.2 billion, annual investment started to fluctuate in 2019. Looking forward, planned new cable investment could exceed $10 billion from 2022-2024.
TeleGeography projects that subsea cable spending will strengthen as hyperscalers shift their position from generating demand to generating supply.
“Our research has shown constant advancement year on year, as pressure for bandwidth continues to grow,” said Alan Mauldin, research director at TeleGeography. “Content providers' international bandwidth growth has accelerated as of late. Companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Netflix have millions of users who are driving up demand every day.”
TeleGeography’s regional Africa Telecom Map highlights 71 cable systems connected to Africa that are currently active or under construction. The map covers used bandwidth, internet capacity, pricing trends, and content provider investment in both cable systems and cloud data centers. Broadband and mobile penetration rates for each country are also included in the main projection.
“The value of regionalizing our maps is that we can explore the trends in greater depth,” said Mauldin. “For example, we can see in our latest regional map of Africa that Europe remains the dominant location for traffic exchange out of the continent and 80% of international bandwidth from African countries connects to facilities in Europe.”
Notable cables featured in this new design include the African submarine cable consortium project 2Africa, which will extend 45,000 kilometers and link 33 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. This new cable could enter service as soon as 2023. Also included is Google’s private cable Equiano, which will initially link Portugal, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Togo, and St. Helena, but could expand to many other countries.