China Telecom and Rostelecom partner to upgrade terrestrial route between Asia and Europe

China Telecom and Rostelecom partner to upgrade terrestrial route between Asia and Europe

China Telecom and Rostelecom have signed an agreement to upgrade the Russian carrier’s Transit Europe-Asia (TEA) terrestrial cable system. The agreement was signed during Capacity China 2011.

The joint investment of over $70 million will see TEA’s existing SDH ring upgraded to 10G technology as both carriers seek to meet the increasing traffic demand between Europe and Asia. The project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2012 when it is expected to become one of the shortest 10G routes between Europe and Asia.

“This project will further strengthen China Telecom’s resources and capability in the EMEA region and facilitate our business strategy in better serving transit in the Europe-Asia market,” said Sun Kangmin, VP of China Telecom. “In addition, our huge base of domestic customers will benefit from this investment which will provide fast and stable connectivity between China and Europe.”

Terrestrial connectivity between Europe and Asia has traditionally been limited and the move could offer an enhanced option for carriers currently reliant on subsea links. The two carriers plan to eventually launch new services on the TEA system between major cities in Europe and Asia.

The partnership follows a cooperation memorandum between the two companies in 2006 which also saw Rostelecom launch a fibre-optic link between the Russian cities of Belogorsk and Blagoveshchensk, and the Chinese city of Heihe.

“Rostelecom’s carrier strategy is to focus attention on the development of our international services based on the unique geographical position of Russia,” said Pavel Zaytsev, VP and Commercial Director of Rostelecom.

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