Tunisia inaugurates a new submarine cable – is there more to come?

Tunisia inaugurates a new submarine cable – is there more to come?

Last week’s inauguration of Tunisia’s Ifriqiya submarine cable is part of a wider plan to boost the country’s international connectivity, according to a number of reports.

The Ifriqiya submarine cable in the coastal city of Bizerte 65 kilometres north of the capital Tunis was put into service last week, in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Communication Technologies and representatives of the operator Ooredoo Tunisia.

Ifriqiya, which has a capacity of 200 Gbt, is connected to the main route between Marseille in France and Abu Talaat in Egypt over a length of 950 kilometres from the Bizerte connection point. It can offer a capacity of around 3 TB/s.

The hope is that Ifriqiya and its promise of a high data rate and uninterrupted services will encourage investment from major companies. Apart from boosting data transmission rates between Tunisia and Europe the new cable is said to align with the national strategy to boost telecommunications infrastructure and support the launch of 5G services.

Given the high costs involved, the government is apparently encouraging private investment in this sector, having identified a need for approximately six to seven submarine cables.

We highlighted plans for this cable in April last year, though as long ago as 2013 Orange invested in a cable connecting Tunisia and Europe when it signed an investment-sharing agreement with Ooredoo.


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