Grid Telecom, a wholly-owned subsidiary, and the telecommunications vehicle of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) of Greece, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bulgarian Electricity Transmission System Operator ESO, regarding the joint commercial exploitation of the Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) terrestrial fiber links installed in parallel with the existing 400 kV extra-high voltage electrical interconnections between Greece and Bulgaria.
The agreement was signed by ESO’s President and CEO, Angelin Tsachev and Grid Telecom’s Director, George Psyrris. The MoU provides for the establishment of a Steering Committee to coordinate the cooperation, supported by groups of experts on technical, legal, and commercial-economic issues. The parties will seek through their cooperation to utilise their expertise, experience, and technical, commercial, and financial know-how, achieving efficient management for fast development and implementation of the project.
The first transmission link concerns the existing electrical interconnection between Blagoevgrad – Thessaloniki with 12 OPGW fiber pairs, while the second link concerns the interconnection recently completed between Maritsa East – Nea Santa with 24 OPGW fiber pairs, achieving potentially data transmission rate up to 38 TBps.
The cooperation with ESO will create a new high-capacity corridor for data transfer in the broader Balkan and Mediterranean region, providing a significant growth boost to IPTO Group's telecommunications infrastructure and further strengthening Grid Telecom's position in the international market. The strategic agreement with ESO, is in line with Grid Telecom's strategy to strengthen its infrastructure, expanding its international network, and increasing its entry points to the Balkans and Central Europe, by providing a new gateway in the Eastern Mediterranean, via Greece.
With its strategic goal of upgrading Greece on the European energy map, IPTO launches new international electricity and telecommunications links with all neighbouring countries and promotes major intercontinental interconnection projects in the Eastern Mediterranean, contributing to Greece's transformation into a critical regional energy and data hub.
Emerging as the prime wholesaler in the Greek market, Grid Telecom exploits IPTO’s extensive optical network in Greece and neighbouring countries and integrates it with its own fiber links and points-of-presence, to achieve network diversity, maximum security, strong redundancy, and exceptionally low latency while creating a new carrier neutral, open-access, connectivity hub in the region.
The Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Manos Manousakis, stated:
"IPTO Group is creating synergies and mutually beneficial business opportunities, contributing to the energy and digital transition of the broader region. The agreement of our subsidiary, Grid Telecom with the neighbouring Bulgarian Transmission System Operator ESO, lays the foundations for a new high-capacity telecommunications bridge in the Balkans, with Greece as a connectivity node. The new optical fiber corridor is leveraging on the strategic geographical positions of Greece and Bulgaria, expanding the data traffic capabilities in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, and enhancing Greece’s telecommunications infrastructure".