Unitirreno to Build New Subsea Cable in Tyrrhenian Sea

Unitirreno, a partnership between Unidata and Industry to enhance Italy's digital infrastructure, has announced a Contract-in-Force for a submarine cable in the Tyrrhenian Sea. This new subsea cable system around Italy is being built to achieve the same.


  • The first Open Cable system in the Mediterranean.
  • The Unitirreno submarine cable has a total cable length of approximately 1,030 kilometres.
  • The system is currently expected to be ready for service by Q2 of 2025.

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Unitirreno has announced a Contract-in-Force for a new submarine cable in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Unitirreno focuses on improving Italy's digital Infrastructure by deploying the new submarine cable system around Italy. This new subsea cable with an approximately 890-kilometre system connects Mazara del Vallo with Genoa with a junction point near Rome-Fiumicino.

Subsea Cable Length

The Unitirreno submarine cable has a total cable length of approximately 1,030 kilometres, with its main trunk connecting Mazara del Vallo in Sicily to Genoa (890 km) and a branch to Rome (140 km). The system is currently expected to be ready for service by Q2 of 2025.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been assigned the task of manufacturing the system, while Orange Marine subsidiary Elettra will complete the survey and installation services of the new subsea system.

Also Read: Telecom Egypt and Grid Telecom to Build Subsea System Connecting Egypt and Greece

First 24-fiber pair Open Cable System

According to Unitirreno, this new subsea cable will be the first 24-fiber pair Open Cable system in the Mediterranean Region, delivering cutting-edge submarine technologies to support continuously increasing national and international bandwidth requirements. In addition, the open cable design will allow customers to select their preferred technology solution for individual fiber pairs. The system will also feature two stubbed branching units to enable future landings in Sardinia and Palermo.

Network Infrastructure and Cost Efficiency

  • Design Capacity: 20 Terabit per sec x 24 Fiber pairs delivering a total of 480 Terabit per sec
  • Branching unit to new data center hub in Rome (under construction) to serve upcoming Unidata Data Center and Italian Domestic Network
  • Stub to Sardinia and Palermo planned
  • Terrestrial Backhauling Option in Sicily
  • State-of-Art 24 Fiber Pairs Cost-Efficient Technology
  • Optical Level Switching Capabilities


  • The shortest path to Northern Europe from Sicily via Genoa/Milan is 9 msec.
  • Latency is reduced by over 50% compared to alternative domestic terrestrial backbone solutions.
  • Express South-North highway with No Stops.
  • Shortest Latency for International Cables Systems crossing the Mediterranean Sea to the main European IXPs, data center hubs and other traffic destinations.

Also Read: IRIS Subsea Cable to Link Ireland and Iceland

Renato Brunetti, President and CEO of Unitirreno, said: "We are delighted to create such a grandiose project which will strengthen the development of the Italian digital Infrastructure, allowing us to be an alternative to the current hub of Marseille and provide strategic landing points for requirements from Asia and Africa. Unitirreno, connecting Sicily with the capital by sea and with Northern Italy, will deliver additional connectivity and further enhance key synergies between Rome-Fiumicino and the green data center that Unidata and Azimut Libera Impresa SGR will build on the same site."

Chris van Zinnicq Bergmann, CCO of Unitirreno said, "We look forward to working with ASN and Elettra towards delivering the new Unitirreno cable system with latest optical technologies to meet growing connectivity demands, driven by video, cloud and other bandwidth intensive requirements. The new Infrastructure will be an eagerly anticipated option for the rapidly growing domestic and global bandwidth mandates."

The plans for the new subsea system were first announced in October 2022, and Unitirreno is owned through a special purpose vehicle which includes Unidata, operator of Telecommunications, Cloud and IoT services; the Infrastructure Fund for ESG Growth (IPC Fund) of Azimut Libera Impresa SGR and a team of senior telecom executives who will manage the company's commercial and operational activities.

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