News

Unidata names ASN and Elettra to build new Mediterranean cable

Renato Brunetti Unidata.jpg

Italian carrier Unidata has chosen two vendors to share the work in building a new subsea cable system connecting Sicily with two cities on the Italian mainland, Rome and Genoa.

The new Unitirreno cable will be the first 24-fibre pair open cable system in the Mediterranean region, said Unidata, which has been an internet service provider (ISP) since 1994 and a data centre owner since 2003.

There will also be a 16-fibre pair from a branch to Fiumicino near Rome, where Unidata is building a green data centre hub.

Renato Brunetti, Unidata president and CEO since 1985, said Unitirreno will strengthen the development of Italy’s digital infrastructure and provide robust direct subsea routes between Genoa, Sicily and Rome.

He added: “The system will deliver strategic landing points for intercontinental cables from Asia and Africa while providing a new route to major digital infrastructure hubs in Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Milan. We are also looking forward to creating new synergies between the Rome-Fiumicino hub and our planned on-site green data centre hub.”

Unidata announced Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), owned by Nokia, and Italian company Elettra as the contractors for Unitirreno, which is named after the Tyrrhenian Sea (Mar Tirreno in Italian) that it will cross. The companies are working with Pioneer Consulting on the project.

Unitirreno will be 890km long, connecting Mazara del Vallo on the western tip of Sicily with Genoa on the mainland, and it will include a junction point near Rome. It will include stubbed branching units to allow future landings in Sardinia and/or Palermo.

Unidata, which also has Unifiber, a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) company in the Lazio area around Rome, says it will sign agreements on the subsea cable by the end of the year.

ASN’s Paul Gabla, chief sales and marketing officer, said: “ASN will design, manufacture, and deliver the Unitirreno system with the state-of-the-art technology that has made ASN a leader in the telecommunications submarine industry.”

Elettra president and CEO, Didier Dillard, said the new cable “contribute to strengthen Italian long haul strategic submarine infrastructure”.