Cypriot telco Cyta and international carrier Telecom Italia Sparkle have jointly announced that they will launch a new undersea cable subsystem linking Cyprus to Greece, under the name ATHENA, which will come into full commercial service by the end of 2011. ATHENA will provide additional submarine cable capacity in the eastern Mediterranean, leveraging both the recently upgraded MINERVA cable subsystem which connects Cyprus to Sicily, via Chania in Crete, and also the use of alternative segments of the MedNautilus submarine network. The new subsystem will be the first direct fully redundant ring-configured network between Cyprus and Greece consisting of two integrated segments, one between Yeroskipos and Chania, the other between Chania and Athens, and will be catering to increasing demands for international connectivity. At the same time, Cyta will be able to access additional international destinations via the MedNautilus landing station in Athens.
As part of their latest agreement, the parties will further upgrade the MINERVA submarine network subsystem on the route to Catania in Sicily, in order to accommodate Cyta’s additional requirements for IP transit capacity. Furthermore, the MINERVA subsystem will be extended through terrestrial connections up to Marseilles, France, in order to enhance Cyta’s protection capacity for its private ALEXANDROS submarine cable between Cyprus-France-Egypt. As a result of this new upgrade, MINERVA will reach over 80Gbps of active protected capacity.