Trans Adriatic Express (TAE) represents a joint venture formed between EXA and Trans Adriatic Pipeline Ag (TAP), the owner of a critical new gas pipeline connecting the Caspian Sea to southern Italy. Completed in 2020, the pipeline connects Melendugno in southern Italy, through Albania and Greece to the Turkish border at Kipoi, at which point it connects to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) through Turkey to Azerbaijan. Two state-of-the-art fibre optic cables have been installed adjacent to the gas pipeline for telemetry, monitoring and safety purposes, as well as a subsea fibre optic cable under the Adriatic Sea.
The Trans Adriatic Express (TAE) backbone is a seamless fiber backbone of more than 4.500 km of network perimeter between the Greek/Turkish border and Marseilles. It connects the major data centers of southeastern Europe and consists of four segments:
The nearby capitals cities of Athens, Istanbul, Sofia and Tirana are also connected to the TAE backbone via fiber extensions that effectively connect these regional hubs to the hubs in western Europe.
EXA installs shelters for optical In-Line Amplifier (ILA) at the gas valve/compressor stations and has deployed an Infinera flex-grid optical transport layer delivering leading 400G and Spectrum services over the TAE backbone, with 25Tbps/fp across the TAE route. EXA provides all engineering and support functions and manages operations from its global NOC in Dublin.
TAE provides a very high-quality route between southern Italy and Turkey using the latest quality G.652D fiber with an average installed loss of <0.19dB/m at 1550nm.
TAE provides a low-latency route. The TAP gas pipeline is built in a very direct route for economic reasons, and therefore offers an attractive low-latency route between Italy and Turkey. Taking the shortest route involves 39 directional drill river crossings and 3 microtunnels through mountains.
TAE provides unprecedented levels of infrastructure security, owing to the fact that it is attached to the TAP gas pipeline buried at depths that vary from a minimum of 1m up to 10m below the ground surface. The TAP is classed as Critical National Infrastructure and it has regular patrols and inspections. Furthermore, TAP has put together a very stringent framework that restricts the list of activities that can be performed in proximity to the pipeline. This means:
According to the operation records of the TAP in the past years, the avaerage failure on TAE will be 0.126 per year per 1,000 km, exceptionally high levels of reliability compared to the traditional cables that are installed in the public roads, with an estimate one fiber cut per 1000km per year.