Europe-Persia Express Gateway cable system now in operation

Sept. 16, 2013
The Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) fiber-optic cable system, which connects Western Europe and the Middle East via a series of submarine and terrestrial fiber-optic networks, is now in operation. Rostelecom, a cofounder of the consortium that funded the network, announced the milestone late last week.

The Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) fiber-optic cable system, which connects Western Europe and the Middle East via a series of submarine and terrestrial fiber-optic networks, is now in operation. Rostelecom, a cofounder of the consortium that funded the fiber network, announced the milestone late last week.

The network, which is about 10,000 km long, runs from Frankfurt across Eastern Europe, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and the Persian Gulf to the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat. It has an initial capacity of 540 Gbps and a design capacity of up to 3.2 Tbps.

Vodafone, Iranian Telecommunications Infrastructure Co. (TIC), and Oman Oman Telecommunications Co. join Rostelecom as backers of the project. The group shared responsibilities for construction of the fiber network. For example, Vodafone was responsible for the infrastructure between Europe and the border between Ukraine and Russia via its Cable&Wireless Worldwide subsidiary (see “Cable&Wireless Worldwide chooses Infinera's DTN-X for Europe Persia Express Gateway”). Rostelecom, working with Azerbaijan partner DeltaTelecom, assumed responsibility for the portion from that border to Azerbaijan and through Azerbaijan to Iran. TIC ran the network from Iran to the Persian Gulf, and Omantel built the connection into Oman.

The system can be extended to the Persian Gulf and India, according to Rostelecom. In addition to meeting the growing requirement for bandwidth between Europe and the Middle East, EPEG enables customers to bypass current and potential bottlenecks such as may be encountered on existing undersea cable lines in the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.

"The project EPEG aims to meet the growing demand and the diversification of routes of telecommunications services in the Middle East sector,” said Rostelecom’s Eugene Sekerin. “Implementation of the project has allowed us to successfully continue the active development of the transit potential of Russia to drive traffic global customers and partners of the consortium."

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