The plans to build a submarine telecommunications cable across the Arctic Sea have taken an important step closer to implementation with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Finnish company Cinia and MegaFon, a leading Russian telecommunications operator. The main objective of the agreement is to establish a Development Company by Q4/2019 for realising the project.
According to the signatories, the global network backbone is currently lacking an optical submarine cable that connects Europe, coastal regions of Russia, Japan and North America. The 10,000km long Arctic cable will offer the lowest-latency sea route between Europe and northern Asia thanks to the shortest geographical route and the most sophisticated technology. By providing a totally new route, the Arctic cable will increase the redundancy of the global networks significantly.
“The Arctic cable will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arctic areas. The cable is an environmentally sustainable way to boost the global, regional and local economy. At the same time, the cable will connect three continents, covering approximately 85% of the world’s population,” says Cinia’s CEO Ari-Jussi Knaapila in a statement.
Cinia has previously planned and constructed the 1,200km C-Lion1 submarine cable from Germany to Finland, and MegaFon has experience in the construction and operation of high-speed fibre optic cable networks in Russia and the neighbouring countries. The Cinia alliance in this phase of the Arctic cable project includes Japanese and Nordic partners and an international investment bank.
“Arctic communications through the Northeast Passage have been planned for a long time, so it is great news that Cinia and MegaFon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to take the project forward. When implemented, the Arctic cable will make the Nordic countries and Finland one of the most important communications hubs between Europe, Asia and North America, thus opening new business opportunities for Finnish companies,” says Alpo Akujärvi, Head of Industry, Data Centers, Invest in Finland.