Unitirreno Submarine Network S.p.A. (Unitirreno) announced Wednesday Contract-in-Force (CIF) for the construction of its new optical fiber submarine cable system in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Unitirreno submarine cable has a total cable length of approximately 1,030 kilometers, with its main trunk connecting Mazara del Vallo to Genoa (890km) and a branch to Rome (140km).
At 20Tbps per fiber pair, the system's total capacity will be 480 Tbps on the trunk route and 320 Tbps on the branch to Rome-Fiumicino. Unitirreno will feature state-of-the-art subsea fiber optic technology in an open cable system structure which will allow customers to select their preferred technology solution for individual fiber pairs. The system will also include two stubbed branching units to facilitate future landings in Sardinia and Palermo.
The construction of the new network is entrusted to Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for system manufacturing and Elettra Tlc S.p.A. for marine survey and installation services. Elettra will initiate survey operations during this quarter and the manufacturing of the cable and equipment has been scheduled by ASN. The new system is scheduled to be ready for service by Q2 2025.
The Unitirreno submarine cable system will be the first repeatered 24-pair fiber optic Open Cable system in the Mediterranean region built on leading edge technology to meet increasing broadband requirements in the region.
The Unitirreno cable system will offer an important alternative route into Europe through the Mediterranean, bypassing the region's key landing point in Marseille. It will create crucial levels of diversity and redundancy for intercontinental, regional and domestic network operators as well as cloud and content providers. In collaboration with network infrastructure partners, Unitirreno will seamlessly connect from Genoa to Italy's main data center hub in Milan, offering an express subsea route to the emerging data center hub in the Rome region. The Unitirreno cable system will also support ongoing development of Italy's digital ecosystem in Rome, Genoa and other cities which are seeing substantial growth in investments toward new data center construction projects.
The Ligurian capital city Genoa has been rising to a regional connectivity hub, to connect with multiple new subsea cables, including BlueMed (also being portion of Google's Blue Raman), 2Africa, Medloop, Unitirreno, etc.
Medloop Cable Route, Image courtesy: BJ Liguria
Unitirreno is owned through a special purpose vehicle which includes Unidata S.p.A. (EGM: UD, Unidata), operator of Telecommunications, Cloud and IoT services; the Infrastructure Fund for ESG Growth (IPC Fund) of Azimut Libera Impresa SGR, whose investment activities are focused on strategic and high-growth infrastructure companies; and a team of senior telecom executives who will manage the company's commercial and operational activities.