Cinia and MegaFon sign MoU for Arctic cable

06 June 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Cinia, a Finnish designer, builder and operator of intelligent network solutions, and MegaFon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a new subsea cable in the Arctic.

Once completed the new system will create a new route to connect continents and to meet the growing connectivity needs of the Arctic region. The main purpose of the agreement is to establish the development company by Q4 of 2019.

"The Arctic cable will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arctic areas. The cable is an environmentally sustainable way to boost global, regional and local economy,” said Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO of Cinia. “At the same time, the cable will connect three continents, covering approximately 85% of the world's population."

The Arctic cable will offer the lowest-latency sea route between Europe and northern Asia thanks to the shortest geographical route and the use of next-gen technology. Currently, the global network backbone is lacking an optical submarine cable that connects Europe, coastal regions of Russia, Japan and North America.

"MegaFon is proud to join a major international infrastructure project that will not only connect several continents via the Arctic but also will benefit MegaFon as a leader of digital opportunities by enabling the development of network infrastructure for customers in the Arctic region and the Far East," added Gevork Vermishyan, CEO of MegaFon.

The Cinia alliance at this stage consists of Japanese and Nordic partners and an international investment bank – who remain unnamed.

Cinia has already completed the construction of 1,200 km of C-Lion1 submarine cable from Germany to Finland, while MegaFon brings its previous experience in the construction and operation of high-speed fibre optic cable networks in Russia and the neighbouring countries, with a fibre optic cable network spanning 200,000km.

Last year, Capacity reported on the growing developments in Arctic cables speaking to Cinia along with Anchorage-based private cable operator Quintillion and Suvi Lindén, the former Finnish Minister of Communications and current chair of NxtVn Finland.