Genoa to become one of the main digital harbors of Europe

Equinix, Inc. the world’s digital infrastructure company™, and Vodafone announced a plan to build a new subsea hub in Genoa, called GN1. Situated on Italy’s northwest coast, Genoa has a rich history in maritime trade and is well-positioned to be a key location on the global subsea cable map.

Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, stated: “We are very excited to be the host city for the new subsea hub GN1, that will serve as a landing point for the 2Africa cable in the north of ItalyGenoa is known for the central role it has played in maritime trade for many centuries. Thanks to GN1, the city will become one of the main digital harbors of Europe, and play a key role in global data transfer.”

Vodafone, which is the cable consortium’s lead for European landings, will land the 2Africa cable system at Genoa and use Equinix’s GN1 facility as a strategic interconnection point for the subsea cable system, creating stronger connectivity in Europe and contributing to building an inclusive digital society for all.

2Africa is one of the world’s largest submarine telecommunications cable projects, driven by a group of partners. The cable will circumnavigate the continent of Africa, directly connecting 16 countries to Europe and the Middle East. This will deliver much-needed internet capacity and reliability, underpinning the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people. The project will also drive the growth of increasingly digitized economies across Europe by strengthening connectivity between European countries.

GN1 will have a direct fiber connection to ML5, the soon-to-be opened Equinix flagship data center in Milan, and will allow Equinix customers to increase the number of partners they connect with and expand their reach into new markets.

The combination of 2Africa’s landing in the new Genoa site and the direct connection to Milan means GN1 will offer a new, complementary and diverse alternative option for the Mediterranean region. Indeed, as Genoa’s first carrier-neutral data center, GN1 will offer customers secure, resilient colocation and interconnection services, as well as the ability to directly leverage Equinix’s digital ecosystems and colocation facilities in Milan. It will provide a capacity of 150 cabinet equivalents, and colocation space of approximately 6,000 square feet (560 square meters).

2Africa is expected to deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180 Tbps on key segments of the system. This will be vital to help build a digital society ready for services that require a large amount of data transfer, such as cloud computing or video.

The need for robust digital infrastructures can be seen across the world, and Africa is no exception. The continent is experiencing a critical period of digital transformation and development of its digital economy. In the next few years, digital technologies are expected to be a factor in improving African people’s quality of life and driving economic development in the region. The GSMA predicts that the number of mobile internet users in Africa will continue to grow rapidly, primarily due to the popularization of smartphones and lack of fixed-line infrastructure, which has led to a boom of new services such as mobile payment, instant messaging, online streaming media and short video.

 

Photo Francesco Boncompagni, source prnewswire