The agreement between the Hellenic Republic and Saudi Arabia last Tuesday on the basic terms for the establishment of a joint venture for the installation of fiber optic cable, the “East to Med data Corridor” ( EMC) that will connect Europe with Asia has a strong Cypriot color and character.
The operation of EMC towards the end of 2025 removes the limitations of connectivity to fast digital communication networks and creates the conditions for Cyprus to become a regional data hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its operation will allow the development of new business activities in the field of cyber security, big data and Data Centers.
The data cable will be developed by MENA HUB, which is owned by Saudi STC, Saudi Arabia's largest telecommunications company, and the Greek telecommunications and satellite applications company TTSA. The Executive Director of TTSA is Alexandros Sinkas and the Public Electricity Company (PPC) of Greece and Cyta also participate in the project.
“Cyprus, through EMC, is becoming a key player in this international consortium,” Mr. Sinca told “P”. “The fact that Cyprus is an island and is not connected by land with Mainland Europe was until now a significant disadvantage in terms of international digital connections. So in fact, with EMC Cyprus can take full advantage of its geographical position by strengthening its position as a regional hub for the surrounding areas, such as Syria and Lebanon, something that would not have been possible without a great deal of cooperation like this. with Greece and Saudi Arabia in this project. “This is something that both the government of Cyprus and the government of Greece have embraced and shared from the beginning,” explains Sinca.
EMC can meet the digital data and content needs of a large part of the populations of countries between Asia and Europe. In addition, it will make Greece a digital gateway of the European Union to the East, with Cyprus being part of this data transfer avenue, part of a large international consortium.
The development of “East to Med data Corridor” >is a private initiative that received state support during the “Greek-Saudi Arabian Business Forum/5th Joint Interministerial Committee Meeting”, held earlier this week in Athens.
TTSA came up with the original idea a few years ago, recognizing that the telecommunications market needed to create an alternative gateway for Asia's digital connection to Europe. Thus, the idea of the submarine data cable via alternative route emerged, combined with the need for fast, delay-free and secure data transfer.
At the same time, the concept of “submarine diplomacy” should not be overlooked. in shaping the geopolitical order of things, while shaping foreign policy strategies while ensuring digital upgrading.
The TTSA initiative has “locked in” with the digital transition, which is a priority for both Europe and Saudi Arabia, which has developed the “Vision 2030” policy. In this context, TTSA contacted and collaborated with PPC, Cyta and STC and when the project matured and with banking institutions. The cooperation with the three companies contributed to the interest at the state level, gaining the support of the governments of Greece, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.
EMC has been designed as a state-of-the-art submarine cable to be an alternative, complementary and less expensive digital gateway to connect Asia with Europe. The goal is to transfer data much faster, more securely and with much less latency compared to previous generation infrastructure.
The total cost of the investment is estimated at about $ 850 million (€ 800 million). The final agreement between the shareholders is expected to be signed at the end of July and its construction will start in the beginning of autumn. The cable is expected to be completed and put into operation in the 4th quarter of 2025. In the next period there will be announcements for the countries it will cover.
In summary, the advantages of the cable are:
The project creates new business opportunities in the field of cyber security and big data, and as an infrastructure project that provides excellent connectivity, it strengthens investments in Data Centers in Greece, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.
TTSA was established in 2007, is active in the telecommunications and energy sectors and has 15 years of experience in infrastructure projects for the development and upgrading of internet services.
Based on a cooperative of Messrs. Alexandros Vlachos, Nikolaos Vlachos and Alexandros Sinkas. The TTSA team consists of approximately 30 executives (telecommunications engineers, lawyers, economists, traders), which is able to manage complex and multi-level international technological, legal and financial issues to complete the design and implementation of a project of this range, such as the East to Med data Corridor (EMC).
In 2019 TTSA S.A. expanded its activities in Cyprus by founding TTSA Cyprus.