Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
10 February 2022
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing MoU between Telecom Egypt, Grid Telecom; Talks Cooperation in DX, AI with Digital Governance, Development Ministers in Greece

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Minister of Digital Governance in Greece Kyriakos Pierrakakis have witnessed the signing of a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Telecom Egypt and Grid Telecom, a subsidiary of the Greek Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), to link Egypt and Greece using submarine cable systems.

The ICT Minister paid a one-day visit to Athens to discuss enhancing cooperation between Egypt and Greece in ICT.

The MoU was signed by the Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Adel Hamed and Chairman and CEO of IPTO Manousakis Manousos. The MoU paves the way for exploring different connectivity options between the two countries, and opportunities for expansion to other destinations depending on the robust infrastructure and international connectivity capabilities of both companies.

Grid Telecom provides various connectivity services using optical fibers to Crete island and Greece, in addition to its network infrastructure in Italy, the Balkans and Central Europe. Meanwhile, Telecom Egypt is one of the largest submarine cable operators in the region.

Telecom Egypt's international network extends to over 140 connection points in more than 60 countries around the world. The company has invested in expanding the submarine cable infrastructure, which is the shortest and most reliable route among Africa, Asia and Europe.

In his speech at the signing ceremony, the ICT Minister emphasized the depth of the Egyptian-Greek relations on the economic, political and cultural levels. He pointed to the historical ties that unite the two countries over thousands of years for being among the oldest civilizations known to humanity.

Talaat added that the MoU will contribute to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in ICT by maximizing the Mediterranean data route between Egypt and Greece. This will lead to a discussion on accelerating the installation of submarine cables between the two countries, that will serve the massive flow of data worldwide, which is exponentially increasing.

The ICT Minister explained that Egypt’s distinct geographical location makes it a center for data traffic among Asia, Africa and Europe, as more than 100 terabytes (TBs) of data are transmitted to Europe, with more than 13 submarine cables.

Moreover, he indicated that it is scheduled to reach 18 cables within three years, and it is planned to launch the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP) cable that extends around Africa, by 2023.

Talaat pointed out that the submarine cable infrastructure of Egypt, which links the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, makes it a center for data traffic flowing from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa to Greece, which is the first entry point to many European countries.

Pierrakakis stated that they welcomed the signing of the MoU to link the two countries based on their robust infrastructure for submarine cables as they have been confident in the infrastructure’s ability to provide ICT services and data transmission with high quality, huge capacities and great speeds. He underlined that the MoU is of great significance due to the importance and ability of the cable route to connect points of connectivity in the two countries and across the continents of the world, and to achieve tremendous growth in the burgeoning digital markets.

For his part, Manousos said that building on the continuous cooperation with the Egyptian government in the field of energy, they witnessed the singing of the MoU with Telecom Egypt, which lays constructive foundations for cooperation between the two countries in the ICT sector. He added that this MoU that they had signed with one of the largest submarine cable operators in the world, contributes to the consolidation of international growth strategy of Greece and strengthens its position as a major ICT hub in the Mediterranean region.

Telecom Egypt’s Hamed stated that they were very pleased with the cooperation with Grid Telecom, as this strategic partnership strengthens the ability of the company to further expand the global infrastructure and increase the geographical diversity of investments. Moreover, he carried on saying that this strategic cooperation would also contribute to enabling Telecom Egypt to expand the scope of its services provided within Europe through Grid Telecom’s network that extends inside and outside Greece.

The Director of Grid Telecom George Psyrris commented that Grid Telecom has been able to establish large business partnerships at the local and international levels since its establishment only three years ago, and has been able to become the key provider of ICT services to operators. He added that, by virtue of the MoU, Telecom Egypt has become a key partner and a strong ally for Grid Telecom's regional expansion, reflecting the confidence of the ICT market in the company’s future growth opportunities.

Relevantly, Talaat held a meeting with Pierrakakis to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in several fields, most notably supporting cooperation and exchanging experiences in digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and mutual recognition of electronic signature, as well as cooperation in the field of interconnection via submarine cables and investing in the distinguished location of both countries to establish a data route across the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt to Europe.

The ICT Minister, also, met with the Minister of Development and Investment of Greece Spyridon-Adonis Georgiadis to discuss the opportunities available for Greek partnership and investment in the Egyptian ICT sector. The meeting discussed ways of cooperation in attracting Greek companies to work on exporting services in the outsourcing industry from Egypt by establishing regional centers of excellence in Egypt to serve the Arab and African regions and European countries. They also discussed the possibility of establishing huge data centers in Egypt, in addition to -investing in startups, as well as in developing the competencies and capabilities of Egyptian and Greek people and technological innovation, along with cooperation between the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) and its counterpart in Greece.

The two sides agreed to form a joint working group and exchange visits for joint coordination in the agreed upon areas of cooperation.

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