Etisalat partners with China Telecom Europe on Smarthub solution

05 March 2013 | Kavit Majithia

Etisalat has announced that China Telecom Europe will access the company’s newly launched Smarthub solution to expand its presence in the Middle Eastern market.

Announced at Capacity Middle East, the agreement means China Telecom Europe will join the growing Chinese business community in the region, and will deploy Smarthub IX at Fujairah to expand its data network capabilities.

Capacity Daily reported yesterday that Etisalat had launched its Smarthub IX in a bid to exchange local traffic and provide an IP transit hub in the region.

China Telecom Europe will now have access to a set of high-speed IPLC and MPLS services for customers in the UAE and other countries in the Middle East.

This latest agreement extends a partnership between the two operators that spans across 15 years, and highlights an increased focus from international operators in establishing a presence in the Middle Eastern market.

“China Telecom and Etisalat have been partnered since 1998 and it is an achievement that China Telecom Europe has also joined as a partner,” said Ali Amiri, executive vice president, wholesale carrier services at Etisalat. “This agreement further deepens this strategic relationship to ensure we continue to collaborate closely to provide exceptional data services to our customers.”

Amiri further commented on the benefits of deepening ties between the UAE and China, which will prove an important component for both communications and for the countries as a whole.

Establishing the UAE as a communications hub for the Middle East has been a prominent theme at Capacity Middle East this year, with an added commitment by the region’s operators to achieve this.

Etisalat’s Smarthub IX is designed to provide companies connecting into the Middle East with a one-stop shop, connecting multiple diverse and international networks to a range of IX platforms around the world, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Singapore, NY and LA.

China Telecom Europe’s managing director, Li Cao, believes the agreement, and the launch of the platform, highlights the increasing significance of the UAE as a communications hub for both the Middle East and Africa.

“China Telecom Europe is delighted to take the long-term relationship with Etisalat of regional connectivity and services to the next level,” he said. “Smarthub will enable us to provide advanced communication services for our customers in the Middle East region. The rising significance of the UAE’s strategic position as the communication network hub for the Middle East and Africa underpins the importance of this partnership in our expansion plans.”

China Telecom Europe, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, was established in 2006, and its launch was one of the first moves made by the Chinese operator to enter into international markets. Its network aims to link Europe to China, with further connections towards the EMEA region.