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  Intercomms Issue 22
Issue 22 Articles

CytaGlobal logoPOSEIDON: The submarine fiber optic cable system, commissioned to serve the offshore oil and gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean

By Andreas Ioannou,
Head of International Networks Promotion, Cytaglobal

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Andreas Ioannou, Head of International Networks Promotion, Cytaglobal
Andreas Ioannou, Head of International Networks Promotion, Cytagloball

Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) is the primary telecommunications provider in Cyprus. Its product portfolio covers the whole spectrum of electronic communications ranging from fixed and mobile telephony to internet service provision and broadband applications. Cyta, through its strategic business unit Cytaglobal, is particularly active in the area of international undersea fibre optic cables, providing wholesale products and services on a global basis, and has established Cyprus as a regional telecommunications hub in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Taking advantage of the island’s strategic geographical position, Cytaglobal has developed an extensive undersea fibre optic cable network, which connects Cyprus with the neighbouring countries of Greece, Italy, Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and thereafter with the rest of the world. This cable network uses state-of-the-art technology and full restoration and diversity and currently includes CIOS, CADMOS, UGARIT, SEA-ME-WE 3, LEV, MINERVA, ALEXANDROS and ATHENA undersea fibre optic systems that land in Cyprus at three separate cable stations, namely Ayia Napa, Pentaskhinos and Yeroskipos. Moreover, Cytaglobal is in the process of establishing two new regional undersea cable systems, ALASIA and EUROPA that will connect Cyprus with Syria and Lebanon, respectively. Two high capacity coastal links TEFKROS and KINYRAS, interconnect all Cyta’s landing stations in Cyprus, thereby securing all-wet routes for regional and international traffic.

Recently, Cytaglobal has reached an agreement with Radius Oceanic Communications Inc. to implement a new and important project for Cyprus, the POSEIDON undersea cable system that aims to provide advanced telecommunications facilities to the offshore oil and gas industry in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Radius is a US communications provider formed to offer broadband communications to the offshore oil and gas industry worldwide.

On April the 2nd 2014, Cytaglobal and Radius announced the completion of testing and commissioning of POSEIDON. This involved the completion of work to establish dual landing facilities in Cyprus, and to implement high-bandwidth end-to-end connectivity from Cyprus to the US. The commissioning of the POSEIDON system provides unprecedented opportunities to the developing oil and gas industry in the region. For the first time, companies can now create their development plans for deep water production with the certainty that the benefits of fiber optic capacity are available and can be easily extended to their platforms.

CSnet International, Inc., as the initial tenant on the POSEIDON system, contributed by integrating its existing Offshore Communications Backbone (OCB) scientific fiber system into the POSEIDON network, and will begin migrating scientific traffic to POSEIDON in April. CSnet will use POSEIDON to more efficiently offer oceanographic, hydrographic and seismic data to all interested parties on a near real-time basis.

Left: Mr Christos Patsalides, Chairman, Cyta; right Mr Jim Byous, President, Radius Oceanic Communications, Inc, Cyta’s Head Office, Nicosia, Cyprus, January 2014.
Left: Mr Christos Patsalides, Chairman, Cyta; right Mr Jim Byous, President, Radius Oceanic Communications, Inc, Cyta’s Head Office, Nicosia, Cyprus, January 2014.

Κey POSEIDON Network Facts and Benefits:

  • The POSEIDON network extends for some 800 km from two shore landings in Cyprus, creating a fiber ring that borders the Cypriot EEZ, and enveloping the offshore oil and gas lease blocks established for development by the Republic of Cyprus.
  • The POSEIDON network is designed as a trunk and branch system, enabling additional fiber extensions and alternate landings as new areas for development are opened outside Cypriot waters and as customer requirements are expanded.
  • Secure, high availability fiber services are easily extended to and between platforms, and can provide the backbone for additional services necessary for surrounding operations.
  • The POSEIDON operating model will offer high capacity managed broadband services, end-to-end global capacity and 24x7 network monitoring and support.

Cyta’s CEO, Dr Aristos Riris, says of POSEIDON, “We have been pleased to work with Radius to bring the POSEIDON network into service. This network, which will support the Eastern Mediterranean deep water developments as they mature, meets Cyta’s objective of being a regional leader in the provision of strategic services to the oil and gas communities.”

“With the POSEIDON system now live, a strategic goal is realized, that of providing secure, high bandwidth, fiber optic capabilities throughout this highly critical oil and gas environment,” Jim Byous, President of Radius, states. “The collaborative planning and implementation efforts of the Radius, Cyta and CSnet teams have achieved an industry first, bringing a widely accessible submarine fiber network into operation in advance of full oil and gas production. Planning, monitoring, and exploration functions will benefit greatly and we are excited about the benefits these capabilities will bring to deep water operators in the region.”

POSEIDON will enable Cytaglobal and Radius, to play an important role in providing state-of-the-art telecommunications facilities to the developing energy sector in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cytaglobal’s partnership with Radius will allow offshore exploration, production and support facilities to reach the world, through Cyta’s telecommunications hub. Projects like POSEIDON emphasize the importance of Cyprus as a major telecommunications hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and a regional electronic communications centre of excellence.

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