A subsea cable connecting Greece and Italy through the deep waters of the Ionian Sea is now fully operational.
The system called IONIAN connects Crotone, Italy, with Preveza, Greece. It is complemented with two terrestrial fiber rings to the cities of Milan and Rome in Italy and Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece, offering a new high-capacity, reliable, international fiber route.
It was designed to improve the performance, quality, and robustness of Greece’s international connectivity and to support the development of Greece into a European data hub.
“With IONIAN, we want to contribute to Greece’s telecommunications development and to positioning the country as a regional telecommunications hub,” said Esther Garcés, CEO of Islalink, the telecommunications company that developed the link.
“Our state-of-the-art submarine cable brings an enormous growth potential. Equally important, IONIAN has been designed to be totally diverse from existing cables and a safe route so it brings additional security to Greece’s international network.”
Greece-Italy cable to meet the demands for ultra-high bandwidth
The system aims to meet the demands for ultra-high bandwidth between Greece and Western Europe and to increase the resiliency of the international telecoms network.
The route traverses mostly through the deep waters of the Ionian Sea and was selected to maximize security against man-made hazards.
Much of the demand is driven by the recent rise in investments in high-speed connectivity infrastructure and data centers in Greece, resulting in increased demand for more bandwidth and diverse routes.
The IONIAN is spanning 330km in length and features 24 fibre pairs, each of which can transmit up to 15Tbps, bringing the total potential capacity to 360Tbps.
Islalink explains that the reason for the choice of IONIAN’s route is that it has been engineered to maximize the reliability of the cable while keeping the marine stretch short enough to avoid the need for amplifiers with low attenuation fibers.
Given that the major causes of submarine cable cuts are due to human activity, such as fishing and anchoring, the best way to minimize such risks is by laying the cable in deep waters. Additionally, not having submerged active elements (amplifiers) also increases the reliability and durability of the system.
The company adds that, given that there are no active submerged elements, and if cable cuts are avoided, it is expected that the lifetime of the system will exceed by far the standard 25 years of submarine systems.