Inauguration of the IONIAN system in Athens

Islalink's state-of-the-art IONIAN fiber optic system connecting Greece with Italy was inaugurated.

Athens, April 25, 2023IONIAN, a new state-of-the-art transmission system connecting Greece with Italy, has been completed by Islalink and is now in operation. Headquartered in Spain, Islalink has more than 20 years of experience in the construction and operation of submarine cables. It is owned by the Canadian Investment Fund Fiera Infrastructure. The IONIAN system has been designed to improve the performance, quality, and robustness of Greece’s international connectivity and to contribute to the vision of making our country a European data hub. This was explained by the company’s representatives during the inauguration event of IONIAN that took place on Tuesday afternoon at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, in the presence of the Minister of State and Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, the Minister of Development and Investments, Adonis Georgiadis, the Ambassador of Spain to Greece, Carles Maria Casajuana Palet, as well as that of representatives of the telecommunications and IT sectors and of the business community in general.

The IONIAN system features a submarine cable connecting the Italian city of Crotone with that of Preveza in Greece that is 330 km long, and includes 24 pairs of fiber optics, each of which can transmit up to 15 Tbps, so the total potential capacity reaches 360 Tbps. The submarine cable is then extended with two terrestrial fiber rings connecting Athens and Thessaloniki with Milan and Rome.

The purpose of the IONIAN system is to serve the ever-increasing need for ultra-high bandwidth between Greece and Western Europe and to increase the resiliency of the international telecommunications network. The route of the cable, mostly through the deep waters of the Ionian Sea has been chosen to maximize security against man-made hazards[MM1] [RR2] . In recent years, investments in high-speed connectivity infrastructure and Data centers in Greece have increased significantly, resulting in rising demand for more bandwidth and alternative routes. The new connectivity offered by IONIAN addresses this need and therefore supports the development of ultra-broadband services in Greece and the development of Athens and Thessaloniki into regional hubs for cloud, content and telecommunications services.

In the context of the inauguration event of the submarine cable, the Minister of State and Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, stated: «It is with great joy that Greece welcomes Islalink’s new investment and the implementation of the IONIAN ultra-high bandwidth system. The ever-increasing needs of the international telecommunications network require investments like this one, and Greece constantly is reinforcing its capabilities to meet the demand for telecommunications and internet services. A stable political and investment environment implies security, upgrading the country’s position in the competitive international arena and brings a higher standard of living and new possibilities for citizens».

The Minister of Development and Investments, Adonis Georgiadis, stated: «I am very happy that even at the end of my term we managed to launch Islalink’s state-of-the-art data transfer system. This investment is a very important milestone in our effort to turn Greece into a European data hub. In recent years we have managed to bring to Greece very important investments from technological companies, while in the next three years our country will have 14 data centers. Therefore, the need for connectivity is accelerating and Islalink’s transmission infrastructure is essential to achieve this goal».

For her part, Islalink’s CEO, Mrs. Esther Garcés, stated: “With IONIAN, we want to contribute to Greece’s telecommunications development and to positioning the country as a regional telecommunications hub. Our state-of-the-art submarine cable brings an enormous growth potential that exceeds 70 times the existing capacity. But equally important, IONIAN has been designed to be totally diverse from existing cables and most safe route so it brings additional security to Greece’s international network.”

More pictures of the event can be found on the following link: