Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
20 July 2009
Dr. Kamel Witnesses Agreement Signing between TE and CYTA on TEN Extensions

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel witnessed today, in the presence of Cyprus' Ambassador to Egypt Costas Leontiou, a cooperation agreement signing between Telecom Egypt and Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA).

Under the deal, CYTA will purchase a fiber pair on TE North capable of transporting a terabit of telecommunications capacity from Cyprus to Egypt and Europe. Telecom Egypt's TE North (TEN) marine cable will be extended to Cyprus, which creates business opportunities among Europe, Asia and the East Mediterranean in this domain.  

TE will obtain both the opportunity to transport CYTA traffic to key European and Asian destinations as well as to cost-effectively reach regional markets accessible via Cyprus.

Telecom Egypt Chairman Eng. Aqil Beshir and CYTA Chairman Mr. Stavros Kremmos signed the agreement.

The agreement aims to prop up regional partnerships among the East Mediterranean countries, whose significance had been clear at the time of the marine cable malfunctions that broke out late in December 2009. The agreement will work on establishing several grid points to connect to the internet in Eastern and Western Europe. 

Dr. Kamel stated that the installation of the new cable comes as part of the State policy to liberate communication services. He added that the purpose of this policy, undertaken by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), is to expand the scope of partnership between the private sector in Egypt and the neighboring countries and offer advanced international telecom services. Such services will derive a positive output for the users in Egypt and the region, he said.

Minister Kamel confirmed the MCIT keenness in boosting Egypt's regional and international status as a communication hub among Asia, Africa and Europe.
According to Dr. Kamel, the new cable will work on meeting the increasing demands of TE's customers in Egypt and their great interest in broadband internet.

The project also supports basic infrastructure services for the passage of marine cables from Asia and Africa to Europe.

Telecom Egypt’s TEN Cable System, which is currently under construction by Alcatel-Lucent, is scheduled to go into service by the end of the year, linking Egypt to France with over ten terabits of telecommunications bandwidth. The cable system is being installed with underwater branching units, which enable TEN to be extended to other Mediterranean countries in the future, including Greece.

Such extensions will form a MedGateway - a bridge between Mediterranean countries, Europe and Asia. The extensions will also provide TE with access to new markets, as well as the opportunity to offer these MedGateway partners with connectivity to key markets in Europe and Asia through TE’s extended network, beyond France and Egypt.

CYTA currently acts as a hub for regional telecommunications in the Eastern Mediterranean, with cables linking Cyprus to the Levant region, Greece, Egypt, Italy, and other European destinations.

CYTA’s new fiber-pair subsystem, named Alexandros, will complement these existing facilities, enhancing the robustness of CYTA’s international access through physical diversity and significant increase in bandwidth.

On his part, Eng. Beshir said that the agreement enables CYTA to be an influential regional partner, joining the MedGateway project as part of TEN.

Along with the current fiber-pair customers, who rely on TEN as a critical conduit between Asia, Africa and Europe, this agreement has assured that TEN is truly becoming a regional and global hub for international communications through the region, he added.

Through each of these relationships, TE aims to go on expanding continue to expand its reach to major destinations of the globe, Eng. Beshir noted.

The TEN marine cable will enable TE to broaden its grids through facilitating an extra cable extending from Marseille in France to Sidi Krir in Egypt. The cable will then be extended on the ground in Egypt through two different tracks till Ras Sidr in Sinai Peninsula between a landing station in Ras Sidr across the Red Sea and another in Sidi Kirir on the Mediterranean.

Mr. Kremmos expressed his happiness that CYTA reached agreement with TE for this new and important project for Cyprus. He noted that Alexandros will enable CYTA to have access to new opportunities to better serve customers both at home and others in the region.

The partnership between CYTA and TE, Mr. Kremmos said, helps CYTA pave the way for its customers to reach the world.

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