Tunisia: Orange Telecom Deal Will Land Submarine Cable at Bizerte

by | May 14, 2023 | Economic, Tunisia


On 11 May 2023, telecommunications provider Orange Tunisia signed an agreement with Ireland-based Medusa Submarine Cable System to build a Marseille-Bizerte submarine cable. The new undersea cable infrastructure will reportedly increase internet speeds as well as connection security.

Thierry Millet, the CEO of Orange Tunisia, hailed the partnership between Orange Tunisia and Medusa as “strategic and ambitious.” Orange envisions the new connection through Bizerte as serving as “a new gateway to Africa” that will benefit the “Tunisian population and economy.”

The Medusa cable system is a trans-Mediterranean submarine fiberoptic cable network that connects a total of nine countries. Orange initially announced a partnership with Medusa in the project in late 2022.

The Medusa cable system is owned by pan-African telecom provider AFR-IX Telecom. AFR-IX is partnering with the University of Alcalá, the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) and Aragón Photonics, and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) in the establishment of the network.

The cable network is expected to be fully operational between late 2024 and early 2025.

The project is estimated to cost $374 million. Partial funding of the project is from European Investment Bank (EIB), which is contributing over $100 million in loans and grants.


Tunisia’s inclusion in Medusa submarine cable network holds the potential to increase connectivity and service options for Tunisian citizens and businesses.

The government has signaled intent to limit competition in the telecommunications space, as indicated during negotiations with SpaceX’s Starlink internet. Starlink was eventually approved to operate in rural parts of Tunisia where existing telecom providers have limited or no coverage.

Improved internet speeds and consistency will be essential progress toward supporting Tunisia’s future economic growth.


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