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China Telecom and Kazakh firm to operate high-capacity fiber optic linking China to Europe

May 4, 2016

A new partnership between China Telecom and Kazakhstan's largest telecoms firm, JSC Kazakhtelecom, has been announced, helping to deliver a fast high-capacity route from Hong Kong to Europe.

According to Data Centre Dynamics, JSC Kazakhtelecom (KT) has agreed to deliver the route from Hong Kong to Frankfurt with a latency of only 162ms on behalf of China Telecom Global, the international vehicle of state-owned China Telecom. KT will cover around half the distance from China to Europe.

The new route has been called a new Silk Road, referring to the historic network of trade routes between China and the Mediterranean that transported goods without the need for lengthy sea voyages.

Although the agreement between KT and China Telecom is new, a similar arrangement has been in place since 2012 through an intermediary. This agreement is the first direct cooperation between the two companies.

The initiative is part of a wider push led by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to develop fiber optic links between China and the West. This strategy is part of a wider plan, termed 'Belt and Road', which includes infrastructure projects such as roads, railway lines, energy installations and communication projects.

Other recent fiber optic projects have been contributing to the Belt and Road initiative. Recently Chinese company CITIC bough the network assets of Dutch company LINX, including fiber links from Holland to the Baltic.

KT and China Telecom claim their agreement paves the way for future business collaboration and will make a noticeable difference to the Belt and Road initiative. China Telecom says it will continue to work with partners to identify further collaboration opportunities.

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