Equinix and Vodafone to build GN1 digital hub to land 2Africa cable

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Equinix and Vodafone are to build a new subsea hub in Genoa, called GN1.

The new GN1 facility will interconnect the 2Africa cable, for which Vodafone is the European landing partner. 2Africa is a 37,000km system that will circumnavigate Africa, directly connecting 16 countries to Europe and the Middle East. 

"The 2Africa project is vitally important to improving connectivity between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and will also improve intra-European connectivity,” said Nick Gliddon, director, Vodafone Carrier Services.

“By linking Spain and Portugal directly to Genoa and Milan, the system will avoid fibre bottlenecks that naturally occur between France and Spain, further strengthening Vodafone's Gigabit networks."

GN1 will have a direct fibre connection to ML5, the soon to launch Equinix flagship data centre in Milan. The combination of 2Africa's landing in the new Genoa site and the direct connection to Milan means GN1 will offer a new and diverse alternative route for the Mediterranean region.

"Italy is an important growth market for Equinix in EMEA, as it's a strategic interconnection point for the region and beyond. We are working to give our customers improved access to the expanding global subsea cable network, so they have increased opportunities to expand internationally,” added Emmanuel Becker, managing director - Italy, Equinix.

“Thanks also to the opening of our new data centre in Milan, ML5, we are creating an interconnected metro area where customers can connect with strategic business partners in Italy and across the world.”

Specifically, GN1 will offer customers colocation and interconnection services, as well as the ability to directly use Equinix's digital ecosystems and colocation facilities in Milan. Overall, it will provide a capacity of 150 cabinet equivalents, and colocation space of approximately 6,000 sqft.

"I am thrilled we are adding a new metro to our EMEA portfolio. Equinix's Genoa site provides a great landing hub for subsea cable operators, whilst at the same time boosting the digital ecosystems at our recently announced Milan flagship, ML5,” added Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, president - EMEA, Equinix.

“Equinix continues to focus on expanding its position as a global connectivity service provider. Our commitment is always to support the increasing demands we're seeing from companies globally to accelerate their digital transformation. We're helping businesses connect to everything they need to succeed and will continue to do so."

In addition, GN1 is being built in line with global environmental standards and is expected to utilise 100% renewable energy.

"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 Italy,” said Marco Bucci, mayor of Genoa City.

“Genoa 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 harbours of Europe and play a key role in global data transfer."