Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) and Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE) have confirmed that they are going ahead with launching the co-owned ALASIA undersea cable linking Syria and Cyprus by the end of 2012. ALASIA will be interconnected with Cyta’s ALEXANDROS cable subsystem to provide connectivity to European destinations and beyond, complementing the existing UGARIT system which also connects the two countries, offering alternative routing and improved resilience. UGARIT has recently been upgraded to form a ring system with the existing BERYTAR and CADMOS cable systems, connecting Syria-Lebanon and Lebanon-Cyprus respectively; ALASIA has been designed with 25.6Tbps capacity with eight fibre pairs. Cyta and STE have entered the new project with several other co-owners of the cable. STE in particular is aiming to substantially boost Syria’s internet penetration via the ALASIA and ALEXANDROS cables, which will ensure reliable connectivity and also help Syria act as a gateway between the Middle East and Europe.