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Google to launch two subsea cables linking Middle East, Europe and Asia by 2024

New pair of investments brings the search engine’s investment projects in subsea cables around the world to 18.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

August 05, 2021 | 1:00 AM BST

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has announced plans to built not one, but two subsea cable systems linking the Middle East with southern Europe and Asia.

In collaboration with Italian telecom company Sparkle, the public cloud giant will deploy the Blue Submarine Cable System connecting Italy, France, Greece, and Israel; and the Raman Submarine Cable System connecting Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman and India.

Each system will be equipped with 16 fibre optic pairs, and are both expected to be ready for service in 2024.

The 5,000 mile long Raman Submarine Cable System is expected to represent a CAPEX of US$400 million.

In time, consortium members hope to make additional landings and connect the two systems through terrestrial network assets, Google said in a blog.

Bikash Koley, VP and Head of Google Global Networking and Head of Technology and Strategy, Google Cloud for Telecommunications, said: “Developing additional network capacity and routes is critical to Google users and customers around the globe, who depend on robust connectivity to power their online lives, and communicate with friends, family and business partners. Google users and Google Cloud customers will benefit from increased capacity and decreased latency to regions in the area.”

Koley added that the Raman cable is named after Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, an Indian physicist who won the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics—the first Asian to receive that Honor in science. C.V. Raman’s work cantered on light scattering, which finds that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes wavelength and amplitude.

“This so-called Raman effect is a foundational principle in the field of optics that enables any underwater network cable,” he said. “A trip across the Mediterranean also prompted him to ask why the sea is blue, when water itself is clear? Thanks to C.V. Raman, we now know that the sea is not simply reflecting the sky, but because the water itself causes blue light to scatter.”

With Blue and Raman, Google has now 18 investments in subsea cables around the world, including Google-funded cables like Curie, Dunant, Equiano, Firmina and Grace Hopper, and consortium cables like Echo, JGA, INDIGO and Havfrue.

Elisabetta Romano, CEO of Sparkle, said: “We are extremely proud to bring our collaboration with Google to the next level with this cutting-edge intercontinental infrastructure.

“With Blue and Raman Submarine Cable Systems, Sparkle boosts its capabilities in the strategic routes between Asia, Middle East and Europe and the enhanced BlueMed  strengthens our presence in the greater Mediterranean area.”

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