Greece, Saudi Arabia Said to Partner for Laying Fibre Optic Data Cable to Link Europe With Asia

Greek sources said on Tuesday that Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday the main conditions for the establishment of a joint venture to lay a fiber-optic data cable that will link Europe with Asia.

The “East to Mediterranean Data Corridor,” a subsea and land-based data cable, will be developed by MENA HUB, which is owned by Saudi Telecom and the Greek telecom and satellite applications company TTSA.

A Greek diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Greek Public Electricity Corporation (PPC) and Cypriot telecom company CYTA would also own a stake in the project, pending final approvals from the company.

The diplomat said a final closing of the agreement is expected by July, with the project to begin in the fall and be completed by the end of 2025.

Another person close to the deal said the cable, which will connect users from Italy to Singapore, will cost around 800 million euros (about Rs 6,663 crore).

Greece’s conservative government has made digital transformation a priority since taking power in 2019, a year after Greece exited the largest financial bailout in history.

A large portion of the around 30 billion euros in grants and cheap loans earmarked for Greece from the European Union’s Post-Pandemic Recovery Fund will be spent on 5G infrastructure and fiber optics.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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