Route diversity plays a key role in service assurance, says Capacity Eastern Europe panel

07 June 2017 | James Pearce


Eastern Europe is acting as a gateway for traffic travelling from Europe to Asia and back, with terrestrial cables playing as key a role in the development of the region as subsea pipes, according to a panel at Capacity Europe East.

Capacity Europe East panel

The panel, entitled “Connecting continents: what role do submarine & terrestrial cables play in uniting European & Asian carrier markets?” looked at the importance of high capacity and low latency transit routes connecting Europe and Asia in the carrier market.

Speakers included Turk Telekom International CCO Stuart Evers, RETN managing director Daniel Jasinski, Retelit chief sales and marketing officer Giuseppe Sini, Colt Technology Services VP of wholesale, Tim Passingham, and director of international for Azertelecom Sietse Lettinga.

Lettinga explained that in Eastern Europe, where a number of countries are landlocked, the development of new terrestrial cables, such as China’s Silk Road project, is vital to ensuring redundancy and diversity.

“If we look back through history, there have been a number of natural disasters that have led to subsea cables in Asia and Europe being cut,” Lettinga told the gathered audience in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

“If that happens and your customers stop getting service they’ve paid for, you will lose them. And those natural disasters are going to happen again.

“We’re trying to build a network that runs through Eastern Europe that will act as an alternative to the subsea cables. It needs to run through as few countries as possible, and needs to find the fastest ways to eyeballs. So you need a lot of crossroads but both terrestrial cables will play a big role, as will subsea cables.”

His words were echoed by RETN’s Jasinski, who said although terrestrial cables do not always compete directly with subsea cables in terms of price, they offer a good alternative option, especially on routes running through Eastern Europe.

“We see new subsea cables being developed every year and that’s fine, but we also see a situation where we expect more terrestrial cables to be deployed over the next few years,” he said. “It is more expensive, for sure, and it is difficult to deliver but it is probably the best way to build leverage with the sea cables in terms of growing business with a safer solution.”

Colt’s Passingham pointed to geopolitical issues that can also lead to loss of service, such as trade disputes or sanctions, meaning diversity of routes plays a key role in service assurance.

“Theres obviously the natural disaster side but there’s also a lot of things going on in the world that means you must consider the geopolitical angle,” he explained. “Look at what happened in Qatar recently [Saudi Arabia and other Arab states cutting ties] – those kinds of issues can have a big impact on the carrier business if you have routes that pass those countries.”