Melita, one of the country’s largest telecoms companies, has announced a €50 million investment to its hardware infrastructure that will allow speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) – 10 times faster than the current maximum.
The investment is expected to take place over a number of years, up to 2030.
During a press conference and demo of the new system, Melita CEO Harald Roesch addressed questions as to why the company is undertaking such an investment when the opportunities for its use are currently slime to none.
“Much of our hardware is not ready to handle 10 Gigabit speeds,” he admitted. “However, over time, devices will be able to handle – and many applications will indeed require – a lot more data.
“This investment ensures that when the time comes, we will be ready.”
Simon Montanaro, Melita’s Chief Technology Officer, said the company is “proud to play a role in Malta’s economic development.”
Emphasising a need to “think ahead”, Mr Montanaro said that it is already possible to see the first signs of devices with 10 Gigabit ports.
“We anticipate growth in this market – these ports will become a lot more common.”
For its demonstration, Melita used one of the few devices able to handle 10 Gigabit speeds currently available commercially, a Macbook, together with a prototype modem.
Head of Access Networks James Spina then conducted a standard speed test resulting in a speed of around eight Gigabits per second.
Melita had previously explained that running such high speeds currently involve a large “overhead cost” which reduces the maximum achievable speed.
In any case, this represents a multiplication over the top speed currently available in Malta.
Speaking at the press conference, Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Business Silvio Schembri said the technology will “revolutionise the way we live, work and interact with each other.”
“The digital transformation cannot be ignored,” he said. “It is opening the door to unparalleled opportunity, and it is thanks to investments like this that we can continue to lead. Though such innovation, we can position Malta as a flourishing digital island, and continue to attract high value investment, including in AI.”
While describing the telecoms industry as “a pillar for Malta’s economic development,” Minister Schembri drew attention to another major stumbling block to a successful digital shift.
“The Maltese population’s digital abilities remain far back from what we want and need,” he said. “There exists a gap between the demand for skills and the local workforce’s ability to supply them.”
He said that bridging this gap is “crucial”, and pointed to the proliferation of educational and training opportunities to support this upskilling.
“Let us continue working together to make our digital networks available to all.”
Melita CEO Harald Roesch
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