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News / January 26, 2024

The EU expands funding for Medusa with new grants

Connectivity between Mediterranean countries will be greatly improved with the coming into operation of Medusa submarine cable system, that is owned by AFR-IX telecom.

With the recent addition of landing points in Libya, the more than 8,700km cable covers 11 countries in Africa and Europe (Portugal, Morocco, Spain, France, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt) through 21 landing points.

The deployment of submarine cables, like Medusa, are strategic projects to increase the connectivity of Europe and enable the transition to become a Global Data Gateway that is both strongly interconnected between itself and with good connections with the other continents.

For this reason, the European Commission has granted a total of 26.7 million euros to AFR-IX telecom for the development of two Medusa spin-off projects: ATMED NADOR-DG (Data Gateway between the Atlantic and-Mediterranean-Nador) and ATMED EAST-DG (Data Gateway between the Atlantic and the East Mediterranean-Medusa Cable). These projects have been granted under the second call Backbone connectivity for Digital Global Gateways (CEF – DIG- 2022 – GATEWAYS) to support the implementation of strategic networks that improve the connectivity of the countries of the European Union.

  • On one hand, €14,7M are allocated to the ATMED NADOR – DG project which will deploy several submarine optic fibre pairs between Lisbon, Marseille, Barcelona and Nador, in the shore of Morocco.

atmed nador

  • €11,9M are also provided for the ATMED EAST – DG project, the next step of the ATMED – DG, granted in the first CEF – Digital Call, which will connect the Eastern Mediterranean islands of Crete (Greece) and Cyprus with Mazara del Vallo, on the island of Sicily (Italy). The deployment of this new submarine optical fibre will have a direct impact of three of the main islands of the Mediterranean, territories intrinsically complex for other types of digital connectivity due to their geographical nature.



Medusa, the submarine cable that positions Europe as a “data gateway”

Both projects, ATMED NADOR-DG and ATMED EAST-DG, are part of the Medusa cable and their deployment will benefit the countries involved with high speed, high quality and low latency interconnection.

In addition, both projects contribute to the generation of the Mediterranean Data Gateway, placing Europe as a central actor in the global data framework.

This represents an important turning point, as Norman Albi, CEO of AFR-IX telecom and Medusa, points out: “Currently there are multiple submarine cables crossing the Mediterranean, but they usually connect to Asia and the Middle East, and only land in a few European ports: Marseille and Sicily. With the ATMED NADOR-DG and ATMED EAST-DG projects, we are offering local solutions to build robust networks covering the entire Mediterranean, which can support future demand and address the lack of redundancy in the region, i.e. alternative routes that guarantee connectivity”.

Additionally, ATMED EAST-DG and ATMED NADOR-DG will offer smart cable technology to monitor and obtain data related to underwater pressure, temperature, seismic movements and currents in the deep Mediterranean Sea.


EU invests 260 million in connectivity

The two AFR-IX telecom projects that have been granted are part of the 37 proposals in the second call of the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programme, which has involved a global investment of €260M by the European Commission.



The ATMED NADOR-DG and ATMED EAST-DG projects are supported by the EU under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-DIG-2022-GATEWAYS: 22-ES-DIG-ATMED NADOR-DG and 22-ES-DIG-ATMED EAST-DG).

Funded by the European Union