Türk Telekom International (TTI) aspires to turn Istanbul into a Data Hub
Q&A interview with Şükrü Kutlu, chief executive officer, Türk Telekom International.
Q. How does TTI differ from its competitors in the market?
Its unique geographical positioning at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia data traffic is one of TTI’s main advantages in the market. TTI reinforces this critical advantage with its state-of-the-art network.
TTI has a terrestrial fibre-optic network of approximately 45,000km and 114 PoPs across 22 countries. It has access to two submarine cable systems. TTI is a full member of the SEA-ME-WE-5 submarine fibre-optic cable consortium connecting Europe to Asia, whereas it owns a private submarine fibre, the MedTurk, that connects Turkey, Middle East, and Europe.
Part of TTI’s vision is to continue expanding its infrastructure and provide alternative, high quality, high capacity and low-cost routes to its customers. As a result of this vision and despite all the challenges presented by the global pandemic, TTI successfully completed two major investment projects in 2020.
One of these major investment projects is the TTI New Backbone, connecting Sofia, Budapest, and Vienna through two different protected routes in Europe with endpoints in Edirne and Frankfurt, each with a fibre network of over 3,000km. The new backbone is fully operational as of end of 2020 and provides high speed and quality service to our customers at more affordable prices.
The second project is the integration of KAFOS subsea cable to TTI network. KAFOS is a subsea telecommunications cable system that spans through the Black Sea connecting Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey reaching 504km in length. The cable system is fully operational as of January 2021 and allows TTI to provide up to 8Tbps capacity between Istanbul and Bucharest. KAFOS subsea cable will have a significant role in providing seamless connectivity between Turkey and Europe.
TTI will continue to expand and update its network in the future as its network in addition to its unique geographical positioning is what makes TTI stand out among its competitors.
Q. How do you see the future of connectivity business? Is TTI equipped to face the future?
Internet ecosystem has undergone a tremendous change with the entrance of content providers as key players. This new challenge forces TTI to go beyond the core business of international capacity transport and add value to its infrastructure with new services that can meet the needs of the current Internet landscape.
TTI’s versatile IP product portfolio is designed to this end. TTI offers IP products to international service and content providers, to enable them to reach Istanbul using TTI’s infrastructure and to host their servers in TTI’s Istanbul Data Center. Alternatively, customers and content providers can take over these IP services in major European Internet Exchange Points (IXP) and data centres or in data centres in Turkey, as close as possible to the desired IP eyeballs. TTI provides access to Türk Telekom’s extensive IP network to fulfil coverage needs of content providers, which accounts for more than 66% of the Internet market in the country.
Major global cloud and content providers have already commenced operations in Istanbul via TTI’s IP products and robust network capabilities such as four diverse fibre routes from Western Europe into the main data centres in Istanbul.
TTI extended its IP product portfolio to various border crossings of Turkey, by providing IP Transit services on the same quality level as Türk Telekom’s national network. Finally, TTI’s partnerships with DE-CIX and Equinix allow it to provide dedicated private connections to cloud providers.
To sum up, TTI will pursue its main vision of providing international capacity and will strive to expand its infrastructure to serve as a bridge carrying international traffic between the East and the West and bringing content closer to users. In addition, we will seek to find new ways and services to add value on our infrastructure as similar to the achievements of IP, IP transit and cloud services. I believe this is how we make TTI a company equipped to face the future and turn Istanbul into a data hub.