Sparkle: With BlueMed, Palermo Confirms Itself as Key Internet Hub in the Mediterranean
May 12, 2023
With the landing of the submarine telecommunications cable in the “Sicily Hub” data center, Sparkle strengthens the role of Sicily as a key internet node between Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia
BlueMed, part of the wider Blue Submarine Cable System project launched in partnership with Google and other operators, will connect Italy with France, Greece and other countries in the Mediterranean
Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and among the top global operators, announces the landing of the BlueMed submarine cable in Palermo and thus the completion of laying of the Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo Tyrrhenian section. The news was given this morning at a press conference in the presence of Roberto Lagalla, Mayor of Palermo, Ambassador Riccardo Guariglia, Secretary General of MAECI and Enrico Bagnasco, CEO of Sparkle.
BlueMed is Sparkle's new cable that will connect Italy with France, Greece and several countries bordering the Mediterranean. It is part of the Blue Submarine Cable System project, built in partnership with Google and other operators.
With four fibre pairs and an initial design capacity of more than 25 Terabits per second (Tbps) per pair, BlueMed will offer high-speed Internet connections and high-performance solutions to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), carriers, telecom operators, content providers, enterprises and institutions to support the growing needs and digital evolution of connected countries.
Laying began in January with the branch to Sardinia (Golfo Aranci) and continued between February and March with the shore ends in Pomezia, on the coast of Rome, and in Genoa. From the Ligurian capital, the cable continues southwards to Palermo from where it will proceed through the Strait of Messina and the Mediterranean Sea down to the Red Sea. The first section, Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo, will be operational by the end of May, while the further extension to Corsica in Bastia will be completed in autumn.
From the landing point in Palermo, the cable will reach the Sicily Hub neutral data center, technological heart and intelligence of the Sparkle network and the most effective Internet exchange point in the Mediterranean due to its proximity to Africa and the Middle East - among the fastest growing areas of the world in the use of digital communications - and its connection to all international cables landing in Sicily.
Roberto Lagalla, mayor of Palermo, commented: “The BlueMed submarine cable represents a world-leading technological tool, and this infrastructure will make Palermo an international internet hub of reference. Having BlueMed really means making Palermo and Sicily the nerve center for Mediterranean countries in terms of technological innovation and digital evolution. For this reason, I thank Sparkle, TIM Group’s global operator, for the important and strategic investment made in Palermo and Sicily, sure that this infrastructure will be able to offer a significant improvement in internet services both for citizens and for telecommunications operators, enterprises and institutions.”
Enrico Bagnasco, CEO of Sparkle, said: “With the landing of BlueMed in Palermo, we complete the laying of the Tyrrhenian section of one of the most advanced digital infrastructures in the world while reinforcing Sicily's centrality in the global Internet system." He added, "Thanks to BlueMed, the Sicily Hub in Palermo is set for further expansion and growth, confirming itself as a strategic asset for the country's digitization and a key hub for data traffic in the Mediterranean region."
The centrality of Sicily for Sparkle is also reflected in training activities in the territory. The most recent example is the participation as Main Partner for Sicily in "YEP - Young Women Empowerment Program" of the Fondazione Ortygia for to the professional development of female university students in Sicily.
In addition, to stimulate research and promote knowledge of submarine digital communication infrastructures, Sparkle announces today the first edition of the "Sparkle Dissertation Award" with which it intends to reward master's dissertations of students from the University of Palermo that offer an original contribution to the evolution of the sector.
Sparkle is TIM Group’s Global Operator, first international service provider in Italy and among the top worldwide, offering a full range of infrastructure and global connectivity services – capacity, IP, SD-WAN, colocation, IoT connectivity, roaming and voice - to national and international Carriers, OTTs, ISPs, Media/Content Providers, and multinational enterprises. A major player in the submarine cable industry, Sparkle owns and manages a network of more than 600,000 km of fiber spanning from Europe to Africa and the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. Its sales force is active worldwide and distributed over 32 countries.