Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Elettra Tlc, Medusa and Orange announce the coming into force of the construction contract for the Medusa Submarine Cable System. This milestone marks the start of an ambitious project that will boost connectivity across the Mediterranean.

Medusa will establish crucial connections between Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. The subsystem named Via Tunisia, part of the Medusa Cable, linking France and Tunisia, is co-funded by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program, as already announced by Orange.

When complete, Medusa will span an impressive distance of over 8,700 kilometres, making it the longest cable in the Mediterranean Sea and providing enhanced North-South and East-West connectivity.

The construction has been awarded to industry leaders ASN and Elettra Tlc. The Medusa system is built on state-of-the-art 24-pair fibre optic Open Cable technology to meet increasing regional broadband requirements, with 20Tb/s minimum capacity per fibre pair.

Elettra Tlc will promptly engage survey operations, while equipment manufacturing and installation are planned to span over 2024 and 2025. Orange will provide landing infrastructures in France, Tunisia and Morocco.

By connecting North Africa and Southern Europe, as well as several Mediterranean islands to the mainland, including Sicily, Crete and Cyprus, the Medusa submarine cable system will create unprecedented opportunities for collaboration, innovation and economic development. It will also provide an effective bridge between the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions, facilitating increased communication and cooperation across all these areas.

Medusa is committed to reducing the digital divide, and this construction is an important step towards achieving this goal.

The construction of Medusa is funded by AFR-IX Telecom, Orange and the European Union through CEF (Connecting Europe Facilities) grants.

This collaboration highlights the commitment of industry leaders and governmental organisations to contribute to a more connected and prosperous future for the Mediterranean region.

Norman Albi, CEO of Medusa, highlights the strategic value of Medusa to improve connectivity in the Mediterranean: “We have been working for more than 3 years to reach this point, and we are tremendously grateful to all those who, from early stages, supported Medusa: collaborating companies and European institutions. Thanks to the support of North African Operators, financial institutions, and leading companies such as ASN, Elettra Tlc, Orange, and AFR-IX Telecom, Medusa will be in service the 4th quarter of 2025.”

Paul Gabla, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of ASN, said: “The Medusa submarine cable system marks a major step forward in telecommunications infrastructure. ASN is honoured to be at the forefront of this ambitious project, which will bring high-speed Internet connectivity and seamless communication to the region, unlocking a world of opportunities for businesses, communities and individuals throughout the Mediterranean region.”

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.”

“Orange is delighted to put its leadership and industry expertise in the construction of this new system that will foster digital exchanges between Europe and North Africa and to welcome Medusa into its carrier-neutral infrastructures in Marseille,” said Aurélien Vigano, Vice President International Transmission Networks at Orange.

Image source: Courtesy of ASN

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