Construction has begun on the Medusa subsea cable, linking Europe and North America.
The project, funded by AFR-IX Telecom, Orange, and the European Union and carried out by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Elettra Tlc, Medusa, and Orange, commenced on July 3.
Construction will be done by ASN and Elettra Tlc and will see an 8,700km 24-pair fiber optic cable offering 20Tbps of capacity per fiber pair connecting Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.
Elettra Tlc has started surveying, with manufacturing and installation expected to run throughout 2024 and 2025. The cable will be operational in Q4 of 2025.
Didier Dillard, president and CEO of Elettra Tlc said “We are very happy to be in charge of the marine works for the first phase of the Medusa project, the marine survey and the installation. Elettra Tlc is a true Mediterranean company that has installed and repaired a very large number of cables in this area, and we are excited to contribute to the construction of this future telecommunications backbone of the Mediterranean Sea.
Paul Gabla, chief sales and marketing officer of ASN said “The Medusa submarine cable system marks a major step forward in telecommunications infrastructure."
Orange is providing the landing station infrastructure in Marseille, France, Tunisia, and Morocco. In Spain, the cable will land at the AFR-IX Barcelona cable landing station, which went live in October 2022, and the upcoming Port of Alicante landing station.
Norman Albi, CEO of Medusa, said: “We have been working for more than three years to reach this point and we are tremendously grateful to all those who, from the early stages, supported Medusa: collaborating companies and European institutions.”
Last month, ASN, which will help lay the cable, launched a new cable ship called the Ile d'Yeu. The company has seven cable ships in operation, five of which are dedicated to laying subsea cables. In total, ASN has over 750,000 km of subsea optical fiber cables in operation.