Explainer: All you need to know about the new Egypt-Greece subsea cable extension

Nada Nader, Sunday 26 Jun 2022

Last week, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement to connect the two countries by extending a branch from a major subsea cable system, which is currently being laid across the Mediterranean Sea.

Map of Telecom Egypt undersea cables network .. Source: Telecom Egypt
Map of Telecom Egypt undersea cables network .. Source: Telecom Egypt


The agreement aims to intensify cooperation in the field of communication and IT and serve the increasing data traffic between Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The agreement was signed on 21 June by Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Adel Hamed, Chairperson and CEO of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator S.A. (IPTO) Manos Manousakis, and Director of the IPTO’s subsidiary — Grid Telecom — George Psyrris at Telecom Egypt’s headquarters in Cairo.

Last February, the two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Athens in the presence of Minister of Communication and Information Technology Amr Talaat and Greek Minister of Digital Governance Kyriakos Piarrakakis.

The MoU laid the groundwork for the exploration of different connectivity options between the two countries in addition to expanded access to other destinations depending on the infrastructure and the international linkage capabilities of the two companies, according to a statement released by the communications ministry.

The project is expected to precede the Egyptian ministry’s planned launch of the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP) cable that will extend around Africa by 2023.

The agreement is a continuity to the remarkable cooperation between Egypt and Greece, which has intensified over recent years in many fields, especially in energy and electricity. 

On 19 October 2021, Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus convened at the ninth Trilateral Cooperation and Coordination Summit in Athens to declare that they welcome the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a trilateral electricity inter-connector

Quickfire facts about the new subsea cable

  • The planned connection between Egypt and Greece will serve the increasing data traffic between Africa, Asia, and Europe, creating a new reliable telecommunications corridor interconnecting the three continents.
  • It will extend for the shortest possible distance, cutting across the Mediterranean basin to reach the Balkans — as well as other important destinations like Genoa and Marseilles — over hybrid terrestrial and submarine networks, according to Telecom Egypt.
  • The subsea cable will be the most recent addition to a series of 18 cables that will be completed within the next three years, according to the ministry.
  • Telecom Egypt’s collaboration with Grid Telecom will increase our network’s resilience and reach, according to Hamed.
  • This new extension will enhance the strategic role of Crete Island as a neutral open-access node on the intersection of three continents, according to Manousakis.
Short link: