EBRD Boosts Turkey’s Subsea Cable Project
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is funding Turkey’s investment in a new fibre-optic submarine communications cable system that will carry data between 17 countries, from Singapore to France and Italy.
The Bank is providing a US$ 50 million loan to Türk Telekom Group 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 Muğla Province, south-western Turkey. Branching units are used in submarine cable systems to provide traffic and power routing between the trunk and branch cables.
The US$ 700 million network, dubbed SEA-ME-WE 5 (South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 5), will be approximately 20,000 kilometres 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 fibre 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.
Jean-Patrick Marquet, director of EBRD operations in Turkey, said: “This mega internet infrastructure project will serve as a brand new platform for future telecommunications business. It can help build a strong digital industry in the country and attract high-tech companies, content providers and major players in the digital economy.”
Cem Velipaşaoğlu, CFO at Türk Telekom International, added: “We are proud to receive the EBRD loan to finance Turkey’s SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium membership. The EBRD has long been an indispensable partner for the people of Turkey in sustainable growth and development, and now, by facilitating the expansion of our digital infrastructure, the EBRD is recognising the enormous economic potential created for our customers by this essential international project.”
Speaking on behalf of the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium, Linette Lee, chairperson of the SEA-ME-WE 5 management committee, said: “This new SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system is a matchless, PoP (point of presence) to PoP, multi-regional data superhighway. It is a technological breakthrough which will mark a global communications milestone when it launches by the end of 2016. Designed with the latest upgradable 100 Gbps technology, enabling initial system capacity of 24 Tbps, it will provide the lowest latency, further enhancing the diversity and resilience of the heavily loaded Asia to Europe route.”