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Telecom Egypt plans HARP subsea system launch

Telecom Egypt is planning to launch the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), a subsea system that will ring Africa and connect its landlocked coasts with Europe by 2023.

The HARP system will leverage the telco’s existing terrestrial and subsea infrastructure to connect multiple points from Africa’s East, West and South to Europe’s Italy, France and Portugal.

It will also cross the Sinai Peninsula as well as the Suez Canal to form a hybrid terrestrial and subsea fibre connectivity solution for landing points within Egypt.

The telco’s CEO, Adel Hamed, notes that the HARP system will enable the carrier to achieve its plans to establish open points of presence in various new locations in Africa and Europe to serve its enterprise and wholesale customers.

“It will also support the digital transformation efforts exerted throughout African nations, and expand the company’s international footprint,” said Hamed in a statement released to the media.

Although details remain sketchy, indications are that the project will provide additional infrastructural support for the development of cloud services in Africa.

“I'd say it's (a lot) more bandwidth for the continent, additional route diversity, and (hopefully) lower prices,” said Guy Zibi, the founder of Xalam Analytics, a cloud and connectivity markets insight provider. “That can only be a good thing for the potential of cloud services.”

Wouter van Hulten of PAIX Data Centres agrees: “Clearly, the addition of more submarine cables is beneficial to the African continent, creating more capacity, choice and further resilience.”

He added that members of the African Data Centre Association support investments in telecommunications networks and welcome more terrestrial cross-border networks.

According to Xalam Analytics’ Zibi, the flexibility in the international and domestic market indirectly impacts the cost of cloud services and directly impacts the user experience. “So on the whole, this is a good thing.”

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