The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) and Telecom Italia Sparkle, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia, on Friday announced an agreement for construction of the first submarine telecom cable link between Greece and Cyprus. Cypriot telecom operator Cyta and Telecom Italia's subsidiary Telecom Italia Sparkle announced their agreement for building the new Athena submarine cable subsystem linking Cyprus to Greece, which will come into full commercial service by the end of 2011.
The Athena subsystem represents a major deployment of additional submarine cable capacity in the Eastern Mediterranean leveraging both the recently upgraded Minerva cable subsystem which connects Cyprus to Sicily, via Chania in Crete, and also the use of alternative segments of the MedNautilus submarine network, thereby maximising quality and reliability.
The Athena subsystem will be the first direct fully redundant ring-configured network between Cyprus and Greece consisting of two integrated segments, one between Yeroskipos and Chania, the other between Chania and Athens, and will be catering to increasing demands for international connectivity.
At the same time, Cyta will be able to access additional international destinations via MedNautilus landing station in Athens. As part of this latest agreement, the parties will further upgrade the Minerva submarine network subsystem towards Catania in Sicily in order to accommodate Cyta's additional requirements for Seabone IP transit capacity. Furthermore, the Minerva subsystem will be extended through terrestrial connections up to Marseilles in order to enhance Cyta's protection capacity for its private Alexandros submarine cable between Cyprus-France-Egypt.
 As a result of this new upgrade, Minerva will reach over 80Gbps of active protected capacity.