According to Israeli media Haaretz.com, Israel will soon become a key channel for Google’s global optical network. Google is planning a new submarine optical cable system from India to Italy—Blue-Raman, and the submarine cable will pass through Israel, avoid the crowded Egyptian route, and open a new channel for Asia-Europe submarine cable. Google Blue-Raman submarine cable is expected to land in Israel in 2022.
Raman in Google’s Blue-Raman submarine cable is named after Venkata Raman, an Indian physicist and Nobel Prize winner.
According to Haaretz, the Blue-Raman submarine cable system will be divided into two relatively independent parts, namely Blue and Raman. The Raman submarine cable will start in the Indian port city of Mumbai, cross the Indian Ocean from the bottom of the sea, land in Oman, and cross the Middle East countries that have not been disclosed from land to Aqaba, Jordan. From the map, the Raman submarine cable will pass through Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.
The Blue submarine cable will start from Genoa, Italy, cross the Mediterranean Sea from the bottom of the sea, land in Haifa, Israel, and cross the Israel from the land to dock with Raman submarine cable in Aqaba, Jordan.
Due to the special geographical relationship in the Middle East, Google had to divide the Asia-Europe submarine cable into two separate sections to avoid the emergence of “Israel” submarine cables across Saudi Arabian territory.
It is reported that Google will cooperate with Sparkle, a subsidiary of Italian Telecom Group, on the Blue submarine cable, while Raman submarine cable will cooperate with Omantel.
Previously, it was reported that Google had cooperated with Japan’s NTT Company to obtain several pairs of optical fibers in the MIST submarine cable that NTT Company was building to connect India, Myanmar and Singapore, and became a major customer of NTT’s Indian data center.
By interconnecting the Blue-Raman cable and the MIST cable in Mumbai, India, Google will open a new submarine cable route from Singapore to Europe. The submarine cable route will avoid congested Egyptian waters and Egyptian transit terrestrial optical cables.
Prior to this, almost all the Asia-Europe and Africa submarine cables passed through Egypt, including Asia-Europe 3 (SMW3), Asia-Europe 4 (SMW4), Asia-Europe 5 (SMW5), the planned Asia-Europe submarine cable 6, Asia-Europe Submarine Cable (AAE-1), and PEACE submarine cable invested by Hengtong Group, etc.
These Asia-Europe submarine cables entered the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean and squeezed into the narrow and shallow Suez Bay. After landing in Egypt, they landed across Egypt through the terrestrial optical cable to reach the Mediterranean Sea and then to Europe.
On the one hand, the Suez Bay and the Suez Canal are busy shipping channels connecting the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Many submarine cables are crowded on both sides of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean in Egypt, with dense routes and optical fibers. This has always been a trouble-prone area with a headache for the Asia-Europe International Network. Multiple submarine cables in the region that have been interrupted at the same time have occurred repeatedly.
On the other hand, as a state-owned fixed-line operator monopolized by Egypt, Egypt Telecom charges an expensive non-discardable right of use (IRU) fee for each transit cable through Egypt. According to the previous investment experience of several submarine cable systems, Egypt Telecom charges a one-time 25-year IRU fee of approximately US $ 10 million for each pair of optical fiber for the transit fiber from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea of about 600 kilometers. An 8-pair optical fiber submarine cable system will cost about 80 million US dollars in the transit section of Egypt.
The international submarine cable industry has been looking for alternatives to avoid Egypt. However, due to the complexity of geopolitics in the Middle East, some countries cannot be interconnected, making it extremely difficult to obtain optical cable routes that avoid Egypt.
EPEG (Europe to Persia Express) cable is currently the only international optical cable system successfully constructed and avoiding Egypt. Starting from Frankfurt, Germany, it crosses Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran from the land, and then crosses the Persian Gulf from the bottom to reach Muscat, the capital of Oman, has a total distance of about 10,000 kilometers. However, due to the impact of U.S. sanctions on the EPEG cable passing through Iran, the EPEG cable is difficult to promote.
Google Blue-Raman submarine cable can successfully pass through Middle East countries such as Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and reach a tacit agreement with relevant countries, which is a pioneering activity in the industry.
The Google Blue-Raman submarine cable should be one of the steps of Google ’s international network diversification, establishing a multi-route optical fiber direct connection between the Asian and European cores of the Google Cloud platform to reduce the Asia-Europe traffic of the Google Cloud platform through the Pacific and Atlantic.