Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) signed the contract for the Execution of the Contract for the Design, Construction, Supply, Installation, Assembly and Entry into Operation of the Submarine Telecommunications Fiber Optic Cable of the new CAM Ring (CAM-Continente Açores Madeira) in Lisbon on March 13.

Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) is a state-owned company which resulted from the merger of Rede Ferroviária Nacional (REFER) and Estradas de Portugal (EP). IP manages the Portuguese rail and road infrastructure. IP is also responsible for the design, construction, exploration, operation and maintenance, under a concession regime, with the option of sub-concession, of the submarine electronic communications cable system between the territory of mainland Portugal and the Azores and Madeira archipelagos.

IP's sole shareholder is the Portuguese State, is subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Finance.

Currently, the interconnection between Mainland Portugal, the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Autonomous Region of Madeira and between the autonomous regions themselves, is ensured by a domestic system of submarine cables called Ring CAM.

Given the need to replace the current system, in operation since 1999, the Government decided to promote the implementation of a new CAM Ring connecting the Mainland and the Autonomous Regions, thus guaranteeing continuity and territorial cohesion, also in the digital aspect, increasing its capacity and redundancy and significantly reducing interconnection prices.

In this sense, IP was mandated to implement this project until the end of 2026, guaranteeing not only the execution of the investment of around 154.4 million euros, co-financed by community funds from the CEF Digital Program, but also its operation during the next 25 years from the Group's subsidiary, IP Telecom.

Within the scope of the project, a priority was considered to obtain a long-term solution that would satisfy current and future connectivity needs, with greater transmission capacity, ability to respond to the challenge of increased connectivity expected in the future, namely by generalization of 5G mobile communication technologies and the increasing digitalization of society.

To respond to these structural needs, the new CAM Ring will be created, taking advantage of Portugal's privileged geographical position - a country with unique characteristics for submarine cable moorings - creating an international cable mooring platform that will promote the location, in Portugal, of digital platforms and data storage and computing centers, in a context where these data structures have a growing and fundamental importance for the digital economy.

The New CAM Ring system will have a total length of 3,812 kilometers of submarine cable and will have a ring topology, with six fiber pairs and an estimated total capacity of at least 150 Tbps, much higher than the current capacity.

The CAM Ring will also integrate an innovative SMART (Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications) component, for seismic detection, climate and environmental monitoring and data transmission for scientific purposes, which will count on the collaboration of IPMA (Instituto Português do Mar e Atmosfera).

This system assumes strategic importance for Portugal by providing adequate basic connectivity to the autonomous regions, increasing the resilience of these regions from an economic and social point of view, and also providing a critical facilitator for companies, public entities and citizens to have better access, more economical and with very high capacity and performance to global digital connectivity networks.