Newsletter May,2022,05

MAY

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Greece moves to upgrade communications, digital infrastructure

Greece has been moving to upgrade its communications infrastructure through new satellite, subsea and mobile technologies that will help cement its role as a digital innovation hub in Southeast Europe.


This month, satellite internet company Starlink launched services, providing high-speed internet access across the country. Meanwhile, the government has been in talks with foreign partners to connect Greece to the new, global, super high-speed SEA-ME-WE 6 submarine cable now under construction. And, according to the latest industry estimates, more than half the Greek population already has access to next generation 5G mobile networks – ahead of official targets and ahead of many European peers.

Long a laggard in the adoption of digital technologies, Greece has undergone a profound transformation in the last five years, welcoming everything from new e-government services, to an explosion in online commerce, to a vibrant new tech startup scene. And the improvement in Greece’s communications infrastructure is key to ensuring the country’s place, both as a center for technology investment, and for research & development.

With its geostrategic location, improving communications infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon are establishing regional hubs in Greece. Microsoft will invest close to €1 billion to develop three data centers and related support services near Athens, while Amazon has picked Greece as one of its new regional centers for cloud computing services. A recent report by real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield confirms Athens as one of the top 10 destinations in Europe – and the only destination in Southern Europe − for data center operations thanks to the city’s access to global communications infrastructure.

At the same time, major multinationals like Japan’s NTT Data and pharmaceutical company Pfizer see Greece as a center for innovation. Pfizer has established an R&D facility in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, while NTT Data recently opened an office in Athens and aims to recruit more than 400 local staff over the next five years.