Google will Connect Israel to Saudi Arabia Via Fiber Optics
The technology giant has begun planning the construction of a fiber-optic network to be laid between India and Europe, which for the first time will also pass through Saudi Arabia and Israel. For the time being, no official approval has been obtained from the Saudi authorities for the move, and although there is still no official normalization between the countries, it may also be seen that the contacts will be extended to con deals.
Google has begun planning the construction of a fiber-optic network that will be routed via an underwater and land cable between India and Europe. For the first time, the cable will be laid and will pass through both Saudi Arabia and Israel on its way to the old continent. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal last night (Monday), Google, which already owns one of the largest fiber optic networks in the world, was looking for a way to avoid transferring its communications through Egypt, where there are already several cables or through Syria, Iraq. And Turkey which is now characterized by political instability.
Today there are about 600 global communication cables that connect the countries of the world and transmit internet, telephone and data traffic. Most of them are located at the bottom of the sea, but in some cases, such as the connection between Asia and Europe, they also pass through land. The problem in the continental segments lies in the political climate that differs from country to country. For example, until the normalization of relations between the Gulf states and Israel and the discovery that Saudi Arabia is also conducting official contacts with the country, it was not possible to connect such a cable between them. Now that the political hurdle has been removed, the situation allows for the construction of Google’s new overland cable.
Google’s biggest competitor in the size of its communications network is Facebook. Which also has a global and massive communications network. Microsoft and Amazon also have global fiber networks that are designed to transfer their cloud customer data between the various data centers in the world. And this is actually the main purpose of maintaining such a network. The massive increase in data transmission such as those produced by video services, cloud computing, Internet of Things, virtual reality or artificial intelligence necessitates a steady increase in traffic capability. Google’s new fiber – known as Blue Raman after an Indian scientist – will provide more than enough capacity to meet the future needs of Google and other customers.
Despite the ambitious project and the author, no official approval has yet been obtained from the Saudi authorities for the move. It is very possible that some of the issues that senior levels in Israel and Saudi Arabia are discussing also revolve around this issue – which may indicate that although there is still no official normalization between the countries, an expansion of the contacts can be seen as concrete deals. Google’s choice to gamble on an intercontinental connection in the Middle East is not made to bypass Egyptian cables but in addition. The internet giant will still carry some of its traffic on another cable that will join the dozens of cables passing through the Suez Canal, the Sinai Peninsula and Alexandria.
Google is expected to invest about $ 400 million in the project if it is the only one to finance it – this is the estimated cost of laying such a cable over about 8,000 kilometers. Among the costs are the transit fees charged by the countries through which the communication cables pass. Needless to say, Egypt is taking advantage of its unique situation in the region and relatively high tariff rates, probably one of the main reasons for Google’s move. The company’s communications partners in this process are Telecom Italy and Oman’s communications company. However it is not clear how much of the costs they will cover. Another country that could benefit from the new geopolitical situation is Jordan through which the cable is expected to pass.