EXA Infrastructure, SOCAR Fiber plan for Red Sea route diversity

Dedicated digital infrastructure platform EXA Infrastructure, the largest throughout Europe, connecting North America and Asia via the Middle East, has signed a strategic partnership with SOCAR Fiber to develop a terrestrial fibre optic route designed to provide diversity to the traditional Red Sea corridor used by submarine cables. 

Putting their partnership into context, the firms said that the terrestrial routes in the region have been an important area of development across the industry for several years, but these have now become a priority.

The new 1850km route will span the breadth of Türkiye, between Greece and Georgia, and contemplates further construction towards the Iraq border to provide connectivity into the Gulf region. The partnership between EXA Infrastructure and SOCAR Fiber is said to highlight Türkiye’s role in the digital ecosystem and the importance of diverse digital corridors between Europe and the Middle East and Asia.

The SOCAR Fiber cables are buried adjacent to the TANAP gas pipeline, and are claimed to provide “exceptionally” high levels of reliability, integrating “seamlessly” with EXA’s Trans Adriatic Express network, which utilises the TAP gas pipeline to Italy.

Boasting more than 20 years of experience in building networks, EXA Infrastructure claims to be the largest dedicated digital infrastructure platform throughout Europe, connecting North America and Asia via the Middle East.

The portfolio company of I Squared Capital EXA Infrastructure provides critical modern infrastructure and engineering expertise to serve as the backbone for digital and economic growth. This includes mission-critical networks for governments and enterprises, hyperscale infrastructure for the businesses and ultra-low latency, high bandwidth networks for financial, gaming and broadcast services.

Headquartered in London, the company owns 151,000 kilometres of fibre network across 34 countries, including six transatlantic cables and claims the lowest latency link between Europe and North America.

SOCAR Fiber is a subsidiary of SOCAR Türkiye. Since 2013, it has been providing secure electronic communication infrastructure services over its 1,850 km long fibre optic infrastructure along the TANAP Natural Gas Pipeline route. This fibre optic line, which spans Türkiye from east to west, serves 20 provinces and 67 districts.

The cooperation agreement with EXA Infrastructure is regarded as strengthening SOCAR Fiber’s position in the sector, and the company believes that it will continue to significantly contribute to Türkiye’s digital transformation in the future. In addition to leasing a pair of fibre optic cable ends, the agreement allows EXA Infrastructure to market other cable ends of SOCAR Fiber to major global datacentre operators.

Commenting on the deployment, Steve Roberts, SVP of network investments at EXA Infrastructure, said: “The vulnerability in the Red Sea region has shown that the industry needs more investment in diversity.

“We are committed to investing in route diversity and ensuring our customers can access Europe and North America with as many secure paths as possible, and this partnership with SOCAR provides an ultra-reliable and highly scalable alternative to the Red Sea into Turkey and the rest of Europe.”