With 16 submarine cables, Egypt is ranked second worldwide terms of the number of submarine cables passing through it, making the country an “internet hub”, Minister of Communication and Information Technology Atef Helmy said on Tuesday.
Helmy made the remark during the Tuesday IPO Summit conference where he highlighted the ministry’s strategy to develop Egypt’s communication infrastructure by 2020 with the cost of more than EGP 130bn.
In order to reach the target, Helmy said that the ministry will work on three projects: a high speed internet plan, which will be done on two phases, costing EGP 45bn in investments; an EGP 30bn plan to develop the high speed internet infrastructure; and a scheme to provide citizens with various communication devices.
If the three plans are implemented, Egypt’s GDP is expected to increase from this year’s 4% to 7% by 2020, Helmy added.
In November 2013, a new northern route to secure the submarine cables passing through Egypt began operation, aiming at securing the safe and continuous transfer of terabytes of data, so that any outage in the southern route will compensated for by switching automatically to the northern route.
The new route, constructed by Telecom Egypt (TE), starts from Abu Talat in Alexandria, protecting the cables that cross the country from Asia to Europe and vice versa via the Zafarana – Abu Talat route.
Egypt’s internet services are “insufficient” due to heavy loads on the country’s communication infrastructure, Helmy said in April, noting that mobile service subscribers number 98 million, while high speed internet lines amount to 2.6 million, equivalent to four communication lines for each citizen.