European development bank funds Turkey’s investment in high-tech undersea cable system
ISTANBULThe European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it is funding Turkey’s investment in a new high-tech fiber-optic submarine communications cable system that will carry data between 17 countries, from Singapore to France and Italy, in written statement on Sept. 21.
The EBRD is providing a $50 million loan to the Türk Telekom Group, Turkey’s largest telecommunications company, which is building the new submarine cable system in a consortium with 17 other telecommunications operators.
The financing will be used to lay cables under the sea and build a branching unit in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast, in the Muğla province of southwestern Turkey. Branching units are used in submarine cable systems to provide traffic and power routing between the trunk and branch cables, according to the statement.
The $700 million network, dubbed SEA-ME-WE 5 (South-East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 5), will be approximately 20,000 kilometers long and is expected to become operational in late 2016, connecting South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe.
The cable’s design capacity is 24 terabits per second on three fiber pairs. Once completed, its advanced 100 Gbps1 technology is expected to meet the rapid growth in demand for fast internet traffic between Europe and Asia, noted the statement.
The system will also bolster Turkey’s internet infrastructure as the country’s growing economy needs greater connectivity and ever-stronger commercial ties with Europe, the United States and Asia, it added.
Turkey has experienced a steep increase in internet use over the last couple of years thanks to investments by telecommunications operators and to enhanced competition in the market. Demand is also growing due to the popularity of video streaming, with high definition replacing lower picture qualities.
The increased capacity for data traffic will result in higher quality for Internet connections in Turkey and neighboring countries.