At 8,760km long, the Medusa Submarine Cable System will be the first and longest subsea cable to connect the main Mediterranean countries, providing access to telecommunications infrastructure. In the latest part of its development, telco Orange is to work with the independent undersea infrastructure operator to offer an open and high-performance interconnection solution to all partners using the network in Marseille.
The Medusa system includes 16 landing points around the Mediterranean Sea. The cable will have segments with up to 24 fibre pairs with a capacity of 20Tbs per fibre pair. Its festoon architecture is said to offer a unique design.
Medusa is seen as being crucial for developing the digital ecosystem of populations in North African countries, as well as six European Union member states – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. The investment is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of these countries, which will lead to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
The Medusa cable is expected to reach Marseille during the last quarter of 2024. The system will be ready for service by the end of 2024 for the western Mediterranean region and the first half of 2025 for the eastern part of the Mediterranean.
In preparation, Orange said it is strengthening its submarine cable access strategy in Marseille with a new urban infrastructure that will increase the resilience and diversity of access and landing points by connecting the city’s datacentres.
The operator believes that not only is it the leading submarine cable landing party in Marseille – offering a unique turnkey solution through its sustained work in close collaboration with state and regional services, as well as all local players – but it is the only operator to have a scalable infrastructure in the area and to have all the technical expertise required to land and maintain intercontinental submarine cable systems.
Orange is already a player in submarine cable markets and invests in more than 40 submarine cables worldwide, representing almost 450,000km.
In the project with Medusa, Orange will handle all the technical, regulatory, security and environmental aspects, enabling its partners to enjoy a prime position in Marseille. By doing this, Orange believes it is enhancing its value proposition to offer every operator around the world access to the capillary connectivity of its international network.
“We are particularly pleased to welcome the Medusa cable to Orange’s infrastructure in the heart of the Mediterranean hub of Marseille, as part of a strategic and ambitious project,” said Michaël Trabbia, interim CEO of Orange Wholesale and International Networks. “By combining our submarine cable landing stations with our new urban infrastructure, we are strengthening Marseille’s attractiveness as a digital gateway to Europe, and beyond that, France’s sovereignty.”
Medusa CEO Norman Albi added: “Marseille has always been a strategic Mediterranean interconnection point, and joining forces with Orange means we can offer a cutting-edge service, against a background of growing needs in the digital economy. With this agreement, all Medusa landings in the western Mediterranean are totally secure and ready to be implemented.”