In a class of its own
Big Interview

In a class of its own

Italian carrier Retelit has an unmatched offer for customers looking for diverse, low latency Ethernet-based connectivity between the Mediterranean and Asia, via Africa and the Middle East.

Retelit, the global provider of infrastructure and data services, has a unique offering for customers looking for fastand dependable connectivity between the major commercial hubs of Europe and Asia. 

The carrier has a portfolio of cable landings around the Mediterranean that distinguish it clearly from other providers in the region, explains Federico Protto, chief executive officer and general manager: “We have built a world class landing station at Bari on Italy’s east coast,” he says. “It’s a key node for the AAE-1 subsea cable in which we are an investor. Bari’s location at the very centre of the Mediterranean puts us about 1,000km or so nearer to the cable’s Asian PoPs than Marseilles, which is helpful for latency.”

The 25,000km AAE-1 cable route currently connects Italy aswell as Greece and France to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

By avoiding a route taken by so many other Mediterranean cables, a great deal of resilience is added, argues Protto: “The Bari landing means that traffic avoids the region from the Sicily channel running up to the south of France,” he says. “You get a lot of outages there, as it’s a crowded area with a lot of shipping.”

Resilience, he believes, is a hot topic right now, following a number of incidents where cables have been damaged, not just in the Mediterranean but in the more vulnerable straits of Asia, which AAE-1 also avoids: “Sometimes a fix can take not so much hours as days or even weeks,” he notes. 

This element of dependability, so important to Retelit and its customers, is further enhanced by the carrier’s stake in the Sicily-based Open Hub Med consortium: “In partnership with other cable providers, we’re able to provide another layer of reassurance,” says Protto. “Our presence in Sicily and Bari enables us to offer customers a diverse path that delivers both resilience and low latency.” 

With Retelit’s high capacity backbone running from Bari and Sicily through Italy it is able to provide high quality backhaul direct from its cable landing station to key locations like Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and London.

Over this compelling combination of wet and dry infrastructure runs Retelit’s Ethernet-based services which range from capacity to backhaul, or a bundle of both.

A win for customers

A number of recent customer signings confirm that Retelit is on the right track with its choice of secure routes and 100G connections. It is working for example with Cogent Communications on providing the diversity that its customers need.

“Among other recent customer signings are a player from the high speed trading market, for whom low latency is crucial,” adds Protto. “We’ve also started working with a cloud provider that needs capacity between cloud hubs in Europe and Singapore. We are expecting to sign other customers in the next few months, helped by the recent launch of the AAE-1 cable.”

He explains that the Retelit customer base spans content providers, OTTs and financial institutions: “We’re also working with a lot of carriers who need to add resilience and capacity to their international backhaul networks,” he says.

“We also supply a number of multinational companies who need international capacity to connect their branches.” Retelit is targeting growth sectors like the delivery of content to places like North Africa and the Middle East, talking to potential customers that are looking for a partner who is positioned conveniently near to those markets: “If that’s where you need to get content to, then with our landings in Bari and Sicily we have that addressed,” he says.

Retelit has also worked to form important partnerships, such as that with BICS, which have helped to establish an end-to-end backhaul route between locations on the European mainland and Asia.

Federico Protto has been the chief executive officer and general manager of Retelit since January 2015. Retelit provides data services and infrastructure for the telecommunications market. Its services include infrastructure, data centre, data transmission and managed network. The company is headquartered in Milan, Italy. 

Gift this article