Sparkle has announced the activation of the Middle Eastern terrestrial section of the BlueMed cable, connecting Aqaba in Jordan to Sparkle’s Mediterranean backbone, as well as direct service availability between Aqaba and Milan using BlueMed new segments.

BlueMed is Sparkle’s new cable that will connect Italy with France, Greece and several countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea all the way to Aqaba in Jordan. The cable is part of the Blue and Raman Submarine Cable Systems, built in partnership with Google and other operators, and that will extend to Mumbai in India.In Jordan, BlueMed lands in the carrier-neutral tier-3 data center operated by Aqaba Digital Hub, which has hosted Sparkle’s PoP since 2019 and is already connected to the company’s international state-of-the-art network and Tier 1 global IP backbone, Seabone. With the addition of BlueMed, the Aqaba Digital Hub enables faster and more reliable internet connectivity for businesses and individuals in the Jordanian market as well as in neighboring countries, thus reinforcing the country’s role as a gravitational digital gateway to the Middle East.Aqaba Digital Hub Founder and CEO Eyad Abu Khorma said: “We are delighted to welcome BlueMed to our carrier-neutral data centers in Aqaba, marking a significant milestone for Aqaba Digital Hub in our journey to serve Jordan and the neighbouring markets. This strategic collaboration with Sparkle and BlueMed will advance Aqaba Digital Hub’s position as the first fully neutral facility in the Middle East region, further enhancing access between Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia and enabling additional initiatives and projects with our partners to fortify these connections.”With its four proprietary fiber pairs and a capacity of ~25 terabits per second (Tbps) per pair, BlueMed provides diverse and ultra-high-speed connectivity that is unique to date and destined to increase further as the technology evolves in the region.

With this activation, internet service providers (ISPs), carriers, telecom operators, content providers, enterprises and institutions can benefit from high-speed Internet connections and premium capacity solutions from Aqaba to Milan, leveraging the two BlueMed segments already active and Sparkle’s Mediterranean Backbone.

“The landing in Aqaba marks a further step towards the realization of our flagship BlueMed project,” explained Enrico Maria Bagnasco, CEO of Sparkle. “Moreover, by partnering with Aqaba Digital Hub, we consolidate a long-standing and fruitful [relationship] while strengthening our presence in Jordan, a strategic country for the industry and a reference hub for the digitalization of the Middle East.”

This new lighting up of the diverse and protected terrestrial backbone from Aqaba follows the one announced in September between Palermo, Genoa and Milan, marking another step toward the completion of Sparkle’s BlueMed cable. By the end of 2023, activations will be done in Pomezia (Rome), Golfo Aranci (Sardinia), Bastia (Corsica) and Marseille, and during 2024, other routes in the Mediterranean will follow.