Sparkle lands BlueMed cable system in Palermo, Sicily


The landing further cements Sicily as a cornerstone of Mediterranean connectivity, as well being a milestone for Google’s larger Blue–Raman cable project

Italian wholesale connectivity specialist Sparkle has announced that it has landed its BlueMed cable at its data centre in Palermo, Sicily.

This landing completes the BlueMed’s primary Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo Tyrrhenian route, with the system expected to be operational by the end of May.

Further expansion to Bastia in Corsica is expected in autumn this year.

The BlueMed cable comprises four fibre pairs and an initial design capacity of more than 25 Terabits per second (Tbps) per pair, helping to further transform Sicily into a digital hub in the centre of the Mediterranean.

Sparkle’s open access Sicily Hub open data centre in Palermo already serves eighteen international cables.

“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,” said Sparkle CEO Enrico Bagnasco. “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 plan to create BlueMed was first announced back in 2019, with Sparkle aiming to connect their Sicily Hub to a new landing site in Genoa. From there, the system would connect overland to Milan, one of Europe’s busiest data nodes.

Shortly after announcing the creation of this new open landing station in Genoa, however, Google announced they were seeking to create their own submarine cable route across the Med, presenting a plan to incorporate Sparkle’s nascent MedBlue cable into their larger Blue–Raman project.

The Google’s Blue–Raman cable system plans to expand the BlueMed system all the way to Tel Aviv, Israel. From there, the system will travel overland to Aqaba, Jordan, before linking to Raman cable system and continuing its journey through the Red Sea and on to Mumbai, India.

In this way, Google and its partners aim to create a new route for Asian data traffic to travel into Europe.

Blue–Raman will have a total of 16 fibre pairs, four of which will be shared with Sparkle.

The Blue–Raman cable is expected to be ready for service next year.

Sparkle will be participating in this year’s Submarine Networks EMEA event at the end of this month!

On May 31, Sparkle’s VP Product Management Backbone & Infrastructure Solutions Giuseppe Valentino will discuss the development of the latest connectivity hubs in the EMEA region and, on June 1, Sparkle’s EVP Europe, Zvika Caspy, will provide an update on Sparkle’s latest projects.

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