Bezeq International

(Hebrew site) has announced today that it is investing $78 million in a project to build a new fiber optic cable under the sea. The project will be undertaken with international communication services provider TyCom. The partners will form a new company for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $390 million.

In return for its investment, Bezeq is to receive a 20% share in the new company. TyCom will receive the other 80% and will be responsible for the installation and management of the fiber optic system. The new system will be incorporated into an existing global system already managed by TyCom, known as the TGN. The new underwater cable will connect the United States to the Middle East, via Europe. Within the Mediterranean region, the system will connect Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel.

The system should be operative by the second half of 2002. TyCom's transatlantic cable connecting the US to Britain will be working by July, 2001, and will later provide the connectivity between the United Kingdom and Italy, which is the effective link to the Mediterranean Basin's system.

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The entire project will be constructed using Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing(DWDM)technology.