EXCLUSIVE: AMEER cable to extend into Asia

03 November 2014 |

Capacity Europe day 1 – The Alternative Middle East and European Route (AMEER) cable is set to extend into Asia, Capacity can exclusively reveal.

Stuart Evers, chief sales officer at Turk Telekom International (TTI), confirmed that the route will expand into the region in 2015.

“We have entered into negotiations now to extend AMEER to India and Singapore,” Evers said.

“[Negotiations] are in the very early stages at the moment but it looks like in 2015 we will be extending further.”

Stretching from Frankfurt to Dubai, via Turkey, Palestine, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the AMEER cable is said to offer lower latency than existing routes on the market and is fully redundant, by means of an alternate subsea cable leg via Italy.

Spearheaded by Türk Telekom International (TTI), the company has brought together a consortium comprising Paltel in Palestine, Jordan Telecom, ITC in Saudi Arabia and du in the UAE for the project.

To be clear: this is not a new route in the truest meaning of the word. Instead it utilises existing networks: “It’s a commercial agreement with interlocks and overlaps across existing networks,” explained Evers.

The project builds on an existing agreement made by Pantel, which was acquired by TTI in 2010, to establish international connectivity for Paltel. TTI then identified potential partners to establish the remainder of the route, and by August of this year commercially launched the route.

“The project came about gradually. We had been looking into a consortium model as building new networks is not always the most efficient in terms of payback on investment,” said Evers. “We are using existing quality reliable networks that are proven and tested, which gives the technical confidence that you sometimes lack in new routes. It has also taken months rather than years to deploy.”

Another key factor in the speedy execution of the project is its unique revenue sharing model, in which all parties benefit regardless of which sells capacity. “There is a set price list and therefore none of the price erosion you see on subsea cable consortiums, where operators are competing to sell on the same route,” said Evers. “It has eliminated competition between the parties involved.”

Evers claims the route offers a round-trip delay (RTD) from the datamena facility in the UAE to Frankfurt of 101 milliseconds, beating competing routes by 20-30 milliseconds. For this, there is a “slight premium”, and the route is a natural fit for carriers looking to support enterprises in time sensitive verticals such as finance or media.

Interest has grown in the route since its first customers went live in September, with Evers claiming that potential customers had also shown an interest in joining the consortium.

In fact, prior to developing its presence in Asia, the next phase of the project is to extend the route to landing stations in Fujairah, UAE, which will also bring Etisalat in to the consortium.