Rostelecom upgrades Middle East to Europe route to 100G

04 October 2011 | Guy Matthews

Russian carrier Rostelecom is boosting capacity on its North South Transit network to 100G, with the help of Alcatel-Lucent.

The network was established to move data terrestrially from Europe to the Middle East via Russia, covering 3,500km of Russian territory.

Rostelecom said data volumes on the route have increased significantly over the past year driven by interconnections between service providers across the region and by added enterprise and consumer traffic.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide Rostelecom with optical technology, to support 100G of data per second on each of 80 wavelengths. It said the upgrade will support the potential streaming of more than 15,000 high-definition TV channels simultaneously on each wavelength, and will hugely reduce the cost of data transit on the route.

“To grow our business in line with the market demand for communications services, we need to cost-efficiently increase the capacity and throughput of our key backbone routes,” said Ivan Zima, executive director of communication networks planning and development of Rostelecom. “Proactive investments in the development of our optical transport network will improve its performance and flexibility and enable us to address the rapid growth in demand for high speed data transmission.”

“Alcatel-Lucent’s 100G technology perfectly fits Rostelecom’s goal to increase its backbone network capacity while minimising cost per bit of transmitted data," said Alexander Tikhonov, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s business in Russia and the former Soviet states.

In May of this year, China Telecom and Rostelecom signed an agreement to upgrade the Russian carrier’s Transit Europe-Asia (TEA) terrestrial cable system. The joint investment of over $70 million was to upgrade TEA’s existing SDH ring to 10G technology to meet increasing traffic demand between Europe and Asia.

The project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2012 and will further challenge subsea connections between Asia and Europe on the basis of its low latency, said the two companies.