Telecom Egypt, Grid Telecom to link Egypt, Greece by submarine cable systems

Hagar El-Shabrawy, Thursday 10 Feb 2022

Egypt and Greece signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Telecom Egypt and Grid Telecom to connect the two Mediterranean countries through submarine cable systems, a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology read on Thursday.

Telecom Egypt
Eng. Adel Hamed, Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt, and Mr. Manos Manousakis, Chairman and CEO of Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) sign the MoU

The MoU lays 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, the statement said.

The MoU was signed during a one-day visit by Egypt’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology Amr Talaat to Athens to boost cooperation between Egypt and Greece in communication and IT.

Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Adel Hamed and Chairman and CEO of Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) Manos Manousakis signed the MoU in the presence of Talaat and Greek Minister of Digital Governance Kyriakos Piarrakakis.

Talaat said the MoU will help maximise the Mediterranean database between Egypt and Greece and open the door for a discussion about accelerating the construction of submarine cables between the two countries to serve the massive flow of data worldwide.

Talaat emphasised the depth of Egyptian-Greek relations on the economic, political, and cultural levels, pointing to the historic ties that have united the two countries, both being among the oldest civilisations. 

Grid Telecom provides various connectivity services using fiber-optic cables to the island of Crete and the Greek territory, in addition to its network infrastructure in Italy, the Balkans, and Central Europe.

Telecom Egypt is one of the largest submarine cable operators in the region, with its international network extending to more than 140 drop-off points in more than 60 countries.

Egypt's distinguished location makes it a centre for data traffic between Asia, Africa, and Europe, where more than 100 terabytes of data are transferred to Europe with more than 13 submarine cables, Talaat noted.

The Egyptian ministry indicated that it is scheduled to reach 18 cables within three years and is planned to launch the HARP cable that will extend around Africa by 2023.

Over the past years, Egyptian-Greek relations have witnessed a remarkable development in all fields and have become a model in cooperation. 

Since 2014, Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus have established a trilateral cooperation mechanism based on a constructive regional dialogue platform that promotes close partnership and contributes to peace, stability, and regional cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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

Days earlier, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement on an undersea cable that will transmit power from North Africa to Europe.

The two countries are also part of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF), a Cairo-based international organisation that aims to establish a regional gas market in the Eastern Mediterranean and enhance trade relations among member states.


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