05 March 2018
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Now that it enjoys world class connectivity with the booming economies of Asia, Italian carrier Retelit is planning further growth as well as expansion of its service portfolio
Following Retelit’s highly successful move into
the global carrier ser-vices market in 2017, the Italian
provider of data and infrastructure services is gearing up for
the next phase of its development.
With the launch last summer of the AAE-1 submarine cable
system, in which Retelit is a key stakeholder, the carrier is
able to offer high speed connectivity between Europe and Asia
via the Middle East. Thanks to the landing station it has built
for the cable in Bari on Italy’s east coast,
taking AAE-1 away from the route taken by many other
Mediterranean cables, Retelit offers an important element of
diversity on the cable’s journey from Marseille to
Hong Kong, tou-ching 19 countries as it goes.
"Thanks to our investment in AAE-1, we had a very successful
2017, hitting our targets in terms of both volume and value of
bu-siness," says Giuseppe Sini, head of Retelit’s
international busi-ness unit. "Less than six months from
starting to carry commercial traffic on AAE-1, we have already
been more successful than we expected. Demand from Asia to
Europe and vice versa is increasing quickly. There has been
pricing pressure, of course, but the volume of demand is
mitigating a lot of that."
Retelit’s aim of moving beyond its strengths in
Europe and repo-sitioning itself in the global arena has been
met: "The market now recognises us as a key player, and that
was one of our main goals," he claims.
Retelit’s international success, says Sini, has
been built around delivering what customers really want: "Our
strategy was firstly to invest in our infrastructure in Italy,
including our landing station in Bari," he points out. "We also
developed an innovative backhaul service which gives us a
single European network from Bari to anywhere on the continent
with the same service level guarantee anywhere, including large
European PoPs such as Frankfurt, Lon-don, Amsterdam and Paris.
Our aim throughout has been to offer diverse alternatives to
the market, with premium landing, safe and diverse routes and
He explains that the element of diversity is very important
to Re-telit’s carrier and content customers:
"Content players and OTTs are very sensitive about resiliency
and latency," he says. "They are now the main dirvers of the
capacity demand on the subsea routes because they want to
control their backbones and get closer to their customers."
Now he says Retelit is executing the next phase of its
evolution: "Stage one was about addressing the needs of inbound
traffic co-ming into Europe from the Far East. Now the next
step is deliver European traffic to markets like Singapore and
Hong Kong. We’re looking beyond just the selling
of lots of bandwidth by moving to extend our footprint and
build our value-added service portfolio."
Late in 2017, Retelit announced the first fruit of this new
phase by signing a commercial agreement of a commercial
agreement with a leading Asian telecommunications name. In a
deal extending for over 20 years, Retelit will provide the
carrier with 1.1 Tbps of capacity on AAE-1. The partnership
will also give Retelit access to a wide range of services at
competitive prices to complete its international offer for the
Italian market and will also see it pursue its network and
points of presence expansion strategy, starting with the vital
Asian hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong.
"Our new Asian partner chose us in preference to others, not
simply on price but for our ability to be flexible and because
we own our own high speed network in Europe granting them the
quality of service to access to European contents they need,"
believes Sini. "They are now a partner that will also support
us as we grow our businesses together."
This year will see Retelit activating a new ring in the
Mediterrane-an and 150 Gbps on multiple links on diverse routes
from Italy to Singapore and Hong Kong completing the Eurasia
Ethernet MEF network with redundancy on three different paths.
Furthermore, lightning the 100 Gbps network extension to Sicily
over its own fibre to add further density in that region: "The
Open Hub Med (of which Retelit is a stakeholder) and the Sicily
Hub data centres in Palermo will be connected to our own fibre
so that, by June, Italy will con-solidate its strategic
position in the centre of the Mediterranean as a landing for
international traffic into Europe," he says. "Our Marsei-iles
PoP also connected to Italy with proprietary fibre will be open
for business in the first half of this year granting Retelit
the exclusive possibility to offer a terrestrial protection to
the Mediterranenan submarine portion to Marseille from Bari and