Greece is seeking to strengthen its position as a data transfer hub, hosting the largest number of investments in data centers that store data and information trafficked through the internet. They need large projects to develop submarine and terrestrial optical fibers, an area where new investments are planned.
The most recent includes that signed by the Greek state during the recent visit to Athens by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman. It has a budget of 850 million euros and concerns the construction of a state-of-the-art underwater and terrestrial EMC data transmission cable system (East to Med data Corridor).
This cable, which will pass through Saudi Arabia and the Mediterranean, will connect Asia to Europe, ensuring a different route to existing ones, which will allow faster data transfer. Based on the schedule, the project is estimated to start toward year-end and be completed within two years.
The construction of the submarine fiber-optic cable in the Ionian Sea is also at an advanced stage by Spain’s Islalink, owned by the Canadian group Fiera Infrastructure. The Ionian cable will run from Preveza to Crotone in Calabria, linking two cities 322 kilometers apart. It will connect Milan and Rome with Athens and Thessaloniki, and is estimated to be put into operation next winter.
Also, Islalink has signed a 25-year deal with Grid Telecom, a subsidiary of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE). Cooperation between the two companies concerns the extension of the land trunk network of the Ionian submarine cable, to be completed soon.
The list of such projects includes Sparkle and Google’s implementation of the Blue and Raman submarine cables, with the former planned to connect Italy, France, Greece and Israel.
The OTE Group has a strong presence in this market via OTEGlobe, having developed some 21,000 km of fiber-optic cables abroad.
Investments in submarine and land-based fiber are capital-intensive and have little margin for profit. Nevertheless, the ever-increasing demand for data volume and the prospects that Greece has keep attracting new players to this market.