The pan-Mediterranean Medusa subsea cable is to land in two locations in Libya.
The Medusa Submarine Cable System this week announced a deal with the state-owned Libyan United International for Telecommunication and Technology (LUIC) to land the cable in Tripoli and Benghazi.
“Medusa was born with the goal of being the most important cable in the Mediterranean and, to achieve that, it must have a solid structure on both shores,” said Norman Albi, managing director at Medusa and AFR-IX telecom.
“That is why it has always been essential to connect all the countries of North Africa. We are convinced that Medusa will mark a positive turning point for Libya’s connectivity, and this will have an impact on the region’s economy.”
Ibrahem Rahab, LUIC CEO added: “The company is working on developing and connecting Libya to the world by enhancing the connectivity and achieving geographic diversity of the international submarine cables infrastructure level.”
The cable is set to land in Libya by the end of 2025.
The 8,700km 24-pair fiber optic cable offering 20Tbps of capacity per fiber pair will connect Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.
Construction work on the project, funded by AFR-IX Telecom, Orange, and the European Union, commenced on July 3.
Orange is providing the landing station infrastructure in Marseille, France, Tunisia, and Morocco. In Spain, the cable will land at the AFR-IX Barcelona cable landing station, which went live in October 2022, and the upcoming Port of Alicante landing station.
Medusa is expected to land in Egypt's Port Said by the end of 2025 in partnership with Telecom Egypt, at which point it will then be connected to the Red Sea landing stations of Suez, Zafarana, and Ras Ghareb via Telecom Egypt's terrestrial network.
LUIC is part of the Libya Postal Telecommunication and Technology Holding Company (LPTIC). LPTIC is the state-owned telecoms company set up in 2005 and holds Libyana, Al-Madar, and Libya Telecom and Technology. LITC was established in 2008 to manage the country’s data and communications infrastructure and offer wholesale services.
Libya currently lands four subsea cables. The UK to India Europe India Gateway (EIG) is the only cable connecting to Libya that also lands in more than two countries.
The LFON (Libyan Fiber Optic Network) connects 13 points on the Libyan coast. The LPITC/Sparkle-owned Italy-Libya cable links the island of Sicily to the Libyan capital Tripoli, and the Silphium cable links Derna in Libya to Chania on the island of Crete.
Earlier this year LPITC announced an agreement with Telecom Italia/TIM subsidiary Sparkle to land the pan-Mediterranean BlueMed subsea cable in multiple locations the country.
The Sparkle/Google/Omtenal-owned BlueMed cable will connect Italy with France, Greece, and Israel, with several other branches across the Mediterranean. The 250Tbps cable will have four fiber pairs and a capacity of more than 25Tbps per pair. Construction is already underway.