Partner Communications (TASE: PTNR; Nasdaq: PTNR) will construct fiber-optic infrastructure in Israel that will facilitate a connection between the East and Europe, forming an alternative to the Suez Canal, through which fiber-optic cables pass. An initial deal worth NIS 40 million was signed yesterday with , a holding of the Aluma Infrastructure Fund (TASE: ALUMA).
Altogether, Partner will deploy 300 kilometers of fiber-optic cable between Haifa on the Mediterranean and Eilat on the Red Sea. The project will take about two years, and will offer an additional East-West connection to the cable of Google and Telecom Italia.
As part of the project, Partner will lay a fiber-optic cable between Tirat Hacarmel, near Haifa, and Jordan, and another connecting Haifa to Beersheva and Eilat.
Aluma is the anchor customer for the new infrastructure and the provider of its initial finance.
At present, most of the international cables connecting Europe with the Far East pass through the Suez Canal. Egypt represents a vulnerable point in the link, because of its complicated political situation, the dependence on a single country, high prices, and the severing of cables by ships in the narrow, shallow canal.
Partner will provide two access points to Israel via Jordan for cables reaching it from the Far East: Eilat, and the Allenby Bridge (known in Jordan as the King Hussein Bridge) across the Jordan River. Both segments will be connected directly to Haifa, or anywhere else that forms an access point to Europe.
Partner already has its own infrastructure between Haifa and Beersheva and between Haifa and Ma'aleh Adumim near Jerusalem. In the current project, the company will lay new infrastructure from Beersheva to Eilat, and from Ma'aleh Adumim to Allenby Bridge. Each segment will be backup for the other.
Partner CEO Avi Zvi said, "Partner is embarking on an independent project that will be a significant growth engine for the company's business, and will turn it into an international communications infrastructure player."
Tamares CEO Tom Koren said, "The project will help Tamares to deepen its ties with Partner and will strengthen its existing capability in connecting East and West."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 26, 2022.
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