Telecom Egypt has announced plans to launch what it calls the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), a new subsea system that will outline the African continent, forming the shape of a harp. The launch is due to take place by 2023.
HARP will connect coastal and landlocked African countries to Europe through the company’s widespread terrestrial and subsea infrastructure. Through HARP, Telecom Egypt says it will offer a wide range of capacity solutions based on a layer two and layer three architecture that can connect multiple points on the system to one another.
The system will connect Africa to Europe, extending from South Africa to Italy and France along the continent’s east coast, and to Portugal along its west coast. Terrestrial routes will connect the landing points within South Africa, Europe and Egypt, forming a complete ring around the continent. Telecom Egypt says the HARP system will leverage its diverse and resilient subsea segments to branch out to multiple potential landing points.
HARP’s planned routes will cross the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, with multiple ring protection topologies, and will extend to include premium routes on both banks of the Suez Canal. Sharm el Sheikh, located at the southern tip of Sinai, will serve as a new landing point and will be connected to coastal cities on the Gulf of Suez, forming a hybrid terrestrial and subsea fibre connectivity solution between landing points in Egypt.
Telecom Egypt – Egypt’s first integrated telecom operator and one of the largest subsea cable operators in the region – has been in the news quite a lot of late, notably through a mesh project agreement with Google and, of course, through its participation in the massive 2Africa project.