Exa and Islalink partner on IONIAN cable system

Exa and Islalink partner on IONIAN cable system

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EXA Infrastructure and Islalink have formed a partnership that will see EXA become the key landing and terrestrial services partner in Italy and anchor tenant on the IONIAN cable system.

The IONIAN system is a 24-fibre pair ultra-low-loss fibre optic cable across the Ionian Sea from Crotone in southern Italy to Preveza in Greece.

Crotone is a new and diverse landing location, joining likes of Bari and Genoa offering faster and more resilient network links. With Contract in Force on the IONIAN system the cable is due to be completed in Q4 of 2022.

“Our partnership with Islalink forms the first phase of our expansion with a high-quality, geographically-differentiated route. We continuously invest in network expansion where our customers need it most. The ability to offer much greater and more robust sub-sea capacity is a huge step forward for our customers in the infrastructure capability we can deliver in south-eastern Europe,” said Martijn Blanken, CEO of EXA Infrastructure.

“IONIAN will offer far greater capacity than existing sub-sea routes, and for EXA Infrastructure forms part of our wider plan not only to serve the growing demand of services between the two countries, but also improving connectivity to the Balkan region and the high-growth Turkish market, as well as surrounding Middle Eastern nations."

Through the partnership, EXA Infrastructure will offer Islalink a terrestrial fibre route between Crotone and Milan and Rome. It will also construct the beach manhole and front-haul ducts in Crotone and provide maintenance services for the cable landing station.

In addition, EXA will also become a main anchor customer on the new cable and construct a new 345-kilometre high fibre-count G.652D cable between its existing network in Bari and Crotone, with terrestrial backhaul.

“Islalink has taken a major step in its international expansion by building IONIAN, the most advanced fibre route directly connecting Athens and Thessaloniki with Milan and Rome. With our landing infrastructure in Crotone, designed to accommodate multiple cables, Crotone becomes an alternative and secure landing point in south Italy," said Esther Garcés, CEO of Islalink.

"Having EXA Infrastructure as a partner is key for the project: its strong presence in Italy, with a nation-wide fibre network, its extensive pan-European network infrastructure footprint and its expertise in the deployment of terrestrial infrastructure for submarine cables give us a lot of confidence in such a challenging endeavour.”

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