Orange to land Medusa submarine cable in Marseille to boost Mediterranean connectivity
The French telco will provide one of the 16 landing points the Medusa cable will connect to around the Mediterranean
Orange is joining forces with the Medusa Submarine Cable System to provide a landing point in France.
The cable system, set to be 8,760km long, will arrive in Marseille in 2024 and claims to be the first cable to connect countries around the Mediterranean. It is set to provide telecommunication infrastructure access to North African countries as well as six EU states: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.
The French telco has been chosen as the leading submarine cable landing party in Marseille, it revealed on 12 December, due to it being the only operator to have the necessary scalable infrastructure in the area, as well as the technical expertise to land and maintain the submarine cable system.
The company is currently working on its submarine cable access strategy by investing in new urban infrastructure to improve the resilience of access and landing points, as well as connecting the data centres in the city. How much is being spent on this investment has not been revealed. Orange is also set to take charge of the regulatory, technical, security, and environmental aspects of the submarine cable’s landing in Marseille.
"We are particularly pleased to welcome the Medusa cable to Orange's infrastructure in the heart of the Mediterranean hub of Marseille, as part of a strategic and ambitious project,” said Michaël Trabbia, interim CEO of Orange Wholesale & International Networks. “By combining our submarine cable landing stations with our new urban infrastructure, we are strengthening Marseille's attractiveness as a digital gateway to Europe, and beyond that, France's sovereignty.”
The Medusa cable is expected to help develop digital ecosystems of North African countries as well as have a positive impact on the economies of the countries involved, claimed the firm. In North Africa, it’s set to land in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt.
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It’s an open system that will have a total of 16 landing points around the Mediterranean sea. Its segments will contain 24 fibre pairs with a capacity of 20 Tb/sec per pair. The system is also expected to be ready for service at the end of 2024 for the West Mediterranean region, while the Eastern Mediterranean region will be operational by the first half of 2025.
Orange isn’t the only telco working to land submarine cables, as the Indian firm Bharti Airtel said on 6 December it was working with Meta and the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to bring the world’s largest subsea cable to India. It’s hoping to improve the country’s telecoms infrastructure by connecting it to the 2Africa Pearls subsea cable, which claims to be the longest in the world.
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