25 January 2024
ICT Minister Witnesses MoU Signing to Build Egypt-Jordan Submarine Cable


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between Telecom Egypt, the first integrated telecom operator in Egypt and one of the largest subsea cable operators in the region, and NaiTel, a licensed telecommunications service provider in Jordan, and the telecom arm of Aqaba Digital Hub. The aim is to build Coral Bridge, the first subsea cable linking Egypt and Jordan in nearly 25 years.
 
The agreement was signed by the Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Mohamed Nasr and the Founder and CEO of NaiTel Eyad Abu Khorma, in the presence of the Jordanian Ambassador to Egypt Amjad Al Adaileh.
 
Coral Bridge will cross the Gulf of Aqaba, creating a point-to-point well-established infrastructure between Taba on the Egyptian side and Aqaba on the Jordanian side. The subsea cable will be built with the highest technical specifications to serve as a key project linking the two countries, maximizing its unique competitiveness due to the short distance between the two landing points with a high fiber count. It will also act as a meeting point for the traffic flowing to meet the increasing demands for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications and data centers.
 
The implementation of the Coral Bridge will contribute to integrating Egypt’s geographic competitive advantages as an important crossing point for international traffic from East to West and Jordan as an important crossing point for the Levant, Iraq, and Gulf countries, as well as a meeting point between Asia and Europe. It will also combine and provide alternatives for international telecommunications to Europe through Egypt’s unique infrastructure and the fully neutral facility, the Aqaba Digital Hub. Hosting global content providers and operators, the Hub is equipped with the highest international standards.

Through this connection, the subsea cable will serve the Jordanian market and neighboring countries by providing innovative and essential end-to-end solutions from Aqaba to Europe by capitalizing on Telecom Egypt’s diversified subsea infrastructure footprint and resilient crossing network.
 
The ICT Minister emphasized that the construction of the Coral Bridge between Egypt and Jordan significantly contributes to efforts aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in the field of ICT.

This project stems from discussions aimed at enhancing cooperation to bolster international digital infrastructure. He clarified that the Coral Bridge marks the first subsea cable linking the two countries to be constructed in about a quarter-century.

Furthermore, the ICT Minister highlighted that the development of this subsea cable is a continuation of ongoing efforts to enhance Egypt’s capabilities in international digital infrastructure. This is part of the implementation of an integrated strategy aimed at solidifying Egypt’s position as a regional data corridor, capitalizing on its unique geographical location, which serves as a distinguished nexus in subsea cable networks worldwide.

For his part, Al Adaileh commended the fruitful partnership in the telecommunications sector between Egypt and Jordan, facilitated by Telecom Egypt and NaiTel. This reflects the growing multi-disciplinary bilateral collaboration to exchange and achieve integration across key sectors, aligning with the visionary leadership of King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to underscore the shared commitment to advancing Jordanian-Egyptian relations in the region.
 
Nasr commented that Telecom Egypt is pleased to cooperate with NaiTel to build the new subsea cable connecting Egypt and Jordan. He explained that the cable is named “Coral Bridge” after the distinctive flora of the coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba. The subsea cable, Nasr highlighted, is a key pillar in Telecom Egypt’s strategy towards expanding the scope of its international footprint in neighboring countries, capitalizing on Jordan’s strategic location and NaiTel’s extensive infrastructure.
 
He further stated that the new infrastructure between Taba and Aqaba will constitute an important crossing point for international traffic between Asia, Africa, and Europe, in addition to a new point of presence in Taba, Sinai, where multiple subsea cables are planned to land.

International traffic extends to the Mediterranean Sea via several protected terrestrial crossing routes and then connects to any subsea cable extending to Asia, Africa, and Europe, providing competitiveness for partners of Telecom Egypt in international telecom networks, added Nasr.
 
In his remarks, Abu Khorma said that NaiTel is pleased with its partnership with Telecom Egypt, positioning Jordan and Egypt as innovative telecom destinations between East and West. The strategic location of Aqaba Digital Hub emerges as a crossroad between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Abu Khorma noted, highlighting that the new cable with Telecom Egypt will enhance the Hub’s diverse footprint and resilient crossing network. Furthermore, this collaboration aims to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end solution, connecting Aqaba seamlessly to Europe.
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