Genoa / Rome
Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top global operators, has started laying the BlueMed submarine cable: the announcement was given this morning during a press conference in the presence of mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, president of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti, Sparkle CEO Enrico Bagnasco, and Jayne Stowell, Strategic Negotiator, Global Infrastructure at Google.
BlueMed is Sparkle’s new cable that will connect Italy with France, Greece and Israel, with several other branches in the Mediterranean. It is part of the Blue Submarine Cable System project, built in partnership with Google and other operators with further extensions in the African and Asian continents.
With four fibre pairs and an initial design capacity of more than 25 Terabits per second (Tbps) per pair, BlueMed will offer high-speed Internet connections and high-performance connectivity solutions to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), carriers, telecom operators, content providers, enterprises and institutions.
The deployment began on 31 January with the laying of the branch in Golfo Aranci, Sardinia, and continued on 9 February with the landing in Pomezia, on the coast of Rome. Thanks to BlueMed, Rome is once again on the intercontinental communication routes 100 years after the deployment of the Anzio – New York – Rio de Janeiro – Buenos Aires system by Italcable (the company precursor of Sparkle).
From Genoa, the cable will continue southwards across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Sicily Hub in Palermo – Sparkle’s neutral data centre connected with eighteen international cables – from where it will proceed through the Strait of Messina and the Mediterranean Sea down to the Red Sea. The first section, Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo, will be operational starting from May, while the extension to Corsica in Bastia will be completed in June 2023.
The cable landing in Genoa is currently underway off the port where the cable enters the Genoa Landing Platform, characterized by a multi-conductor submarine pipeline known as the “Bore Pipe”, and reaches through a 6 km network of tunnels and underground galleries to the Genoa Lagaccio Open Landing Station, point of interconnection with other submarine cables and terrestrial national and continental networks.
The Genoa Landing Platform is designed to accommodate, in addition to Blue, up to six new cables safely and without impacting the environment and the city, thus positioning the Ligurian capital as a new traffic hub between Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe as well as a preferred route for future submarine systems seeking diversified access to the west European coast. The environmental sustainability, resilience and scalability of the infrastructure, in addition to its potential for diversification to other European hubs, were internationally recognised at the Global Carrier Awards (GCA) industry competition where Sparkle won the “Best Subsea Innovation” award.
“BlueMed is a fundamental infrastructure to continue and accelerate the path of growth and digital transformation of our territory from an economic, social and cultural point of view“, said the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti. “Thanks to its natural vocation as Europe’s gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, and to its strategic role as a logistics hub of national and international importance, Liguria has always been a central hub for goods traffic. Thanks to BlueMed it will also become so for Internet traffic and data, which, circulating at very high speed, will help our enterprises to increase their competitiveness and attractiveness with respect to investments from abroad, with important benefits also for the daily life of Ligurian citizens. Liguria,” – Toti concludes – “once again confirms itself as the capital of innovation and technology”.
Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci commented: “Genoa is even more connected to the world and can play a central role as a hub in the Italian, European and global scenario. We must and want, as an administration, to be perceived as a facilitator towards companies, we want to make people understand that innovation means efficiency and that it is possible to do things well and quickly for the benefit of citizens and those who want to operate in our territory.”
Enrico Bagnasco, CEO of Sparkle, said: “We are proud to have realized with BlueMed and the Genoa Landing Platform a state-of-the-art infrastructure that reinforces the role of Italy, and Genoa in particular, in the global internet by creating a new digital corridor between Europe and the African and Asian continents,” adding: “BlueMed is meant to be the central system of digital traffic in the extended Mediterranean and represents an extraordinary opportunity for cooperation with the areas of the world that will see the greatest growth in the use of digital communications in the next decade.”
Jayne Stowell, Strategic Negotiator, Global Infrastructure at Google added: “Blue is part of Google’s commitment to invest in accelerating the growth and development of a digital economy in Italy and the Mediterranean region, enabling the advancement of new technologies and innovations for Italian companies . We are enthusiastic to collaborate with key telecommunications companies such as Sparkle to develop a network that represents concrete support for the country’s digital transformation“.
Sparkle is TIM Group’s Global Operator, first international service provider in Italy and among the top worldwide, offering a full range of infrastructure and global connectivity services – capacity, IP, SD-WAN, colocation, IoT connectivity, roaming and voice – to national and international Carriers, OTTs, ISPs, Media/Content Providers and multinational enterprises. A major player in the submarine cable industry, Sparkle owns and manages a network of more than 600,000 km of fiber spanning from Europe to Africa and the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. Its sales force is active worldwide and distributed over 32 countries.
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