JERUSALEM, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Israeli telecom group Partner Communications , said on Wednesday it signed a 40 million shekel ($12.6 million) deal to build a fiber optics network in Israel to enable a second ultra fast data connection between Europe and the Far East.
The new network signed with Tamares Telecom will be an alternative to existing cables that connect Europe with Asia via the Suez Canal. Partner said a new route was needed because the Suez lines experience failures due to geopolitical issues and the tearing of cables caused by ships as they pass through the narrow, shallow canal.
Partner said it would deploy 300 km (186 miles) of fiber optics at a cost of tens of millions of shekels to expand Tamares’ network and create a corridor between the Mediterranean sea and Jordan. Tamares will also buy maintenance services from Partner.
The project will take up to two years to build and eventually will connect cables from the Far East to two points in Israel – the Israel-Jordan King Hussein border crossing and the Red Sea resort city of Eilat. It will then run through Israel to the Mediterranean port of Haifa and on to Europe.
The project is expected to provide high capacity and address the growing increased data flow between the West to the East, Partner said.
It “has the potential to engage with other operators from around the world, in transactions that are expected to generate significant future revenues and profits for Partner,” the company said.
Avi Zvi, Partner’s chief executive, said in addition to being a significant growth engine, it will turn Partner into a global communications infrastructure player.
Partner is Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator. Like its peers, it has struggled to remain profitable the past decade after a reform in the mobile sector boosted competition, and has looked to internet and TV services as new revenue streams. It is in the process of deploying a fibre network in Israel.
($1 = 3.1826 shekels)