Sparkle, part of the Telecom Italia Group, has landed its BlueMed subsea cable in Chania, on the Greek island of Crete.

The BlueMed cable system connects Italy with France, Greece, and several countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, before ending in Aqaba, Jordan.

BlueMed landed at Sparkle’s data center in Chania and is connected to the island’s terrestrial networks and Sparkle’s MedNautilus network.

The system is part of the Blue & Raman cable built in partnership with Google and other operators, and is expected to extend to Mumbai.

The operator said the cable has four fiber pairs and a design capacity of more than 25Tbps per pair.

Laying of the cable began in 2023 with the main Tyrrhenian trunk from Genoa to Palermo and branches to Marseille and Bastia in France, Golfo Aranci in Sardinia, and Pomezia in Rome.

The Tyrrhenian and Middle Eastern terrestrial portions of the cable are now fully operational. The remainder of the Mediterranean landings and the operation from Genoa to Aqaba are expected to be completed this year.

“With the landing of BlueMed in Crete, Greece is enabling a new digital route for Internet traffic between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia,” said Enrico Baganasco, CEO of Sparkle.

“We have been operating in Greece for more than 20 years and here we have the skills and infrastructure needed to develop it as a new Internet hub of the Mediterranean, a role destined to grow further in the future thanks to the landing of new submarine cables.”

The Blue & Raman project was announced in 2020, with the latter part named after Indian Nobel Prize Laureate Venjata Raman, and represents $400m of investment. The cable will provide a different route through the Middle East than Egypt, which currently has a submarine cable stranglehold.

DCD reported in March 2024 that Telecom Italia has been looking to sell Sparkle, its subsea unit, to raise between $650 to $867 million.

Earlier this month, Grid Telecom partnered with Quadrivium to build a cable landing station in Crete.

Chania is currently the landing point for the AAE-1, MedNautilus, SeaMeWe-3, and Silphium cables.

Greek telco Lancom, the Greek government, and Digital Realty are also developing data centers in Crete.