China Telecom Europe adds cable through Kazakhstan

China Telecom Europe expects to open its fourth terrestrial cable route between Europe and Asia in Q4 2010 as it strengthens connections between the continents.

The company already operates three similar routes, one based on Rostelecom’s Transit Europe-Asia (TEA) cable and another on Company TTK’s backbone. The third, Transit Mongolia, was launched this year connecting Beijing with the other two cables through Mongolia. The new route, which runs through Kazakhstan, will be shorter than the other three, offering improved latency as a result.

Yan Ou, managing director at China Telecom Europe, said: “Our terrestrial links offer significantly shorter round-trip latency than submarine links, approximately 180ms compared to 240ms. The Kazakhstan link is our shortest yet and will strengthen our highly reliable, high-speed Europe- Asia network solutions offering to customers in both Europe and Asia.”

The Kazakhstan cable will provide the country with international links, and facilitate easier access to content from around the world. Research firm Ovum says Kazakhstan currently has only the most basic international connectivity, limited to routing traffic via Russia.

“This route provides China Telecom Europe with low latency, but I believe they have a lot to gain from the region besides this,” said David James, principal analyst at Ovum. “Aside from Kazakhstan, they are also picking up extra traffic from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kurdistan. China is also interested in developing mining for minerals in emerging markets, and several of these countries have the potential to supply oil, gas and other resources that China needs. Building out infrastructure in that direction, China can pick up some of the traffic and take some of its own enterprises in those countries.”