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A gate­way be­tween re­gions


OTEGLOBE, the in­ter­na­tional whole­sale arm of the Greece-head­quar­tered OTE Group, is all ready for the planned launch of the 25,000km Asia-africa-europe 1 (AAE-1) sub­ma­rine ca­ble early next year. CEO Dino An­dreou ex­plains how this will help OTEGLOBE, as a mem­ber of the AAE-1 con­sor­tium, to pro­vide a unique route and make Greece a key gate­way be­tween re­gions.

How close are we to see­ing the AAE-1 ca­ble up and run­ning?

It’s all set for early next year. The in­ten­tion of our­selves and the other mem­bers of the AAE-1 con­sor­tium is to have the ca­ble ready for test­ing and com­mis­sion­ing by the end of 2016, and it should be ready for com­mer­cial use be­tween Sin­ga­pore and Europe in the first quar­ter of 2017.

What would you say are the key ad­van­tages of the AAE-1 ca­ble?

It will help meet the big-data ex­plo­sion and bring more bal­ance to the global flow of data traf­fic be­tween Asia and Europe in comparison with that across At­lantic and Pa­cific routes. OTEGLOBE has cus­tomers that want to con­nect their en­ter­prises from re­gions such as Asia to Europe, and we do not have this kind of end-to-end con­nec­tiv­ity by our­selves. At the mo­ment, we have a lot of queries about the ca­ble, es­pe­cially those want­ing to carry traf­fic from Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore to Europe, and vice versa.

AAE-1 will also re­duce la­tency by low­er­ing the need for ter­mi­na­tion at in­ter­me­di­ate land­ing sta­tions, and will im­prove net­work di­ver­sity. In this day and age, it is crit­i­cal for all car­ri­ers to have more than a sin­gle route to op­ti­mally han­dle faults and out­ages, and for net­work ef­fi­ciency and se­cu­rity.

Why is this ca­ble so im­por­tant for OTEGLOBE?

The in­ten­tion in our busi­ness plan is to build an al­ter­na­tive route in the Mediter­ranean Basin to serve all this traf­fic com­ing from Asia, the Mid­dle East and North Africa. Mar­kets that are now prov­ing most im­por­tant for the data-traf­fic boom in­clude coun­tries such as In­dia, China and na­tions in the Gulf, as well as Africa.

For us, it’s cru­cial that we have a means to help ter­mi­nate this traf­fic in Europe’s key data-cen­tre mar­kets, such as Lon­don, Frank­furt and Am­s­ter­dam. Most of it that lands on this con­ti­nent cur­rently goes via Italy and France. With our par­tic­i­pa­tion in AAE-1, we are adding our­selves and Greece into the pic­ture.

What are the ad­van­tages of hav­ing a route through Greece?

For one, we are very close to Egypt and the Mid­dle East, so we have ad­van­tages from Greece’s geopo­lit­i­cal po­si­tion. OTEGLOBE also has ro­bust net­work in­fra­struc­ture to serve traf­fic com­ing from Asia to Europe. We are the only car­rier that reaches Western Europe through Greece with two fully owned, ge­o­graph­i­cally di­verse net­works. We want to pro­vide ca­pac­ity to car­ri­ers that wish to ter­mi­nate their traf­fic in ma­jor data cen­tres in Europe. But it is not all about the tra­di­tional big mar­kets. We also want to of­fer new con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions to Eastern Europe, to lo­ca­tions such as Bul­garia and Ro­ma­nia – coun­tries that are in our foot­print, but are cur­rently un­der­served in terms of traf­fic com­ing from Asia.

What ben­e­fits will AAE-1 of­fer for emerg­ing mar­kets?

We be­lieve that the type of fu­ture-proof and di­verse sub­sea con­nec­tiv­ity that AAE-1 can pro­vide to mar­kets such as Myan­mar, Pakistan, Thai­land, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, Ye­men and Dji­bouti is crit­i­cal. The net­work will help to cut prices and im­prove ac­cess to in­ter­net ser­vices in emerg­ing mar­kets, op­er­at­ing as an ope­nac­cess net­work over which cus­tomers can choose their pre­ferred back­haul providers be­tween car­rier-neu­tral points of pres­ence in France, Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong.

At OTEGLOBE, we are in­ter­ested to see how AAE-1 will help in terms of ter­mi­nat­ing traf­fic from some of these mar­kets to Europe di­rectly rather than go­ing to other re­gional data cen­tres.

How does OTEGLOBE bring some­thing dif­fer­ent to the party?

OTEGLOBE of­fers di­verse rout­ing be­tween re­gions and unique net­work in­fra­struc­ture in Eastern Europe, pro­vid­ing new op­tions for con­nect­ing be­tween there and Asia. Traf­fic from Asia can be routed through AAE-1 to OTEGLOBE’S land­ing sta­tion at Cha­nia, and from then on through OTEGLOBE’S di­verse and pro­tected ter­res­trial net­work to any­where in Europe, en­sur­ing re­silience and di­ver­sity in the re­gion.

Hence, with our par­tic­i­pa­tion in AAE-1, our main ob­jec­tive is to make Greece a key al­ter­na­tive gate­way be­tween re­gions and help en­hance con­nec­tiv­ity on a global ba­sis.

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Dino An­dreou: AAE-1 will im­prove net­work di­ver­sity

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