Libyan International Telecommunications Company (“LITC”) and OTEGLOBE have announced a partnership to collaborate on the development of new and diverse connectivity from North Africa to the global internet hubs. The collaboration includes both the construction of a submarine fiber optic cable across the Mediterranean and onward terrestrial bandwidth over multiple routes on the OTEGLOBE network.
LITC and OTEGLOBE have signed an agreement under which OTEGLOBE will provide LITC with landing facilities at the Chania International Cable Station in Crete. LITC is at an advanced stage in planning for the construction of the new submarine fiber optic cable from Darnah in Libya to the station in Crete. The cable, to be called Silphium, will be wholly owned and fully funded by LITC and will have an initial design capacity in excess of one terabit of bandwidth. It is expected to be in commercial service in mid 2011.
Apart from its landing facilities at Chania International Station, OTEGLOBE will also provide the connectivity to the major European internet hubs through the use of its terrestrial and fully redundant and diverse international fiber optic networks TBN & GWEN, which connect Greece with the rest of Europe through the Balkans and Italy accordingly.
The new subsea cable further establishes Greece’s position as a new telecom hub in the Mediterranean - through the Chania International Cable Station. This station, which is already hosting other major international cable systems, was selected due to its high level of service availability, along with options for highly reliable diverse connectivity to the major European telecom gateways.
According to Mr Kamal Farhat, CEO of LITC, “As our first wholly owned international fiber cable, Silphium represents a substantial milestone in the development of our international network strategy. It is in addition to our investments in consortia cables and provides a highly desirable diverse route across the Mediterranean. When combined with OTEGLOBE’s terrestrial backhaul, it provides alternative routes to the European internet hubs. Within Libya, it will connect to our Next Generation Broadband network. This has already been installed on a national basis and will enable direct internet access to the severely underserved countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The name “Silphium” is derived from a plant grown in the ancient city of Cyrene, near the cable landing at Darnah. It had special qualities as a food and medicine and was the basis for a trade route across the Mediterranean. We hope the Silphium cable will now play a role in developing telecommunications between the two great continents”.
“LITC’s decision to land it’s cable in our Chania International Station brings us one step closer to realizing our long term strategy of making Greece a new telecommunications hub in the Mediterranean Sea,” states Mr. Dino Andreou, CEO of OTEGLOBE. “By capitalizing on our geographical advantage and our state of the art international fiber optic networks which connect Greece with the rest of Europe, OTEGLOBE can resiliently serve the increasing demand for connectivity originating from the Middle and Upper East as well as North Africa”.
Headquartered in Tripoli, LITC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company (“LPTIC”). LPTIC is the incumbent operator in Libya and provides a full range of fixed line, mobile, Wimax, data and internet services throughout the country. LITC is the international services arm of the business and is driving the company’s strategy to expend international networks and to improve the cost and availability of internet and other value added communications services for the Libyan people. In addition to existing international network, it is investing in state of the art fiber optic cables which will serve the Libyan and Sub Saharan market. These include the Europe India Gateway cable along with several of the world’s leading operators; a cable to Sicily with Telecom Italia Sparkle and a wholly owned cable from Darnah to Crete. All those cables will have onward connectivity to the global internet hubs. In addition, LPTIC has recently completed both an equity and capacity purchase in WIOCC, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company. This company owns significant fiber capacity along the east coast of Africa.