According to Reuters, Telecom Egypt has sold IRU of part of its infrastructure to MENA Submarine Cables Systems (MENA-SCS), a subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) , bringing MENA-SCS closer to launching the MENA submarine cable network.

Once completed the Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable Systems (MENA) fibre optic network will link up Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India, the company said in an emailed statement.

MENA Cable, which the company had previously hoped would be fully operational in June 2013, has been delayed by a lack of regulatory approvals for its terrestrial section passing through Egypt.

After signing the "indefeasible right of use" agreement with Telecom Egypt and acquiring mandatory permits, OTMT expects to launch MENA cable within a year as all marine construction was completed last year.

OTMT is to pay Telecom Egypt $30 million "within this year" as part of the agreement.

The agreement will allow MENA Cable to use Telecom Egypt's link between Zaarafana on the Red Sea and Abu Talat on the Mediterranean for 20 years.