Rostelecom launches the $500mn next generation Transit Europe – Asia project

The project is developed by Rostelecom’s newly founded company Atlas which will be supported by financial and strategic partners, including one of the Russian banks and a number of international investors and communications operators.

MOSCOW: Rostelecom PJSC, the largest integrated digital service provider in Russia, today announces that it has launched, a project to construct a new generation fiber-optic communication line connecting Russian western and eastern borders under a working title TEA NEXT. Total investment will amount to US$500 million within several years.

In 2023-2024 Rostelecom plans to launch a brand-new set of services, based on the transit communication line between Europe and Asia TEA NEXT which is a next step of the TEA project evolution. TEA NEXT will provide clients with an opportunity to utilize the dark fiber infrastructure and locate its own equipment along the new fiber-optic communications line.

TEA NEXT fiber-optic communication line is unique because it is designed to encompass facilities that no other existing terrestrial system provides, but which are widely used in sub water intercontinental communications models. Moreover, it will be available for use by all major Russian operators.

The project is developed by Rostelecom’s newly founded company Atlas which will be supported by financial and strategic partners, including one of the Russian banks and a number of international investors and communications operators.

TEA NEXT project capacity will reach 96 dark fiber lines available to international operators and global OTT companies as a transit communications means connecting Asia and Europe, and to national operators in Russia.

The first level of the infrastructure – dark fiber lines with platforms for own active DWDM equipment[2] available along the new line, will be provided to clients for long-term use of up to 20-25 years. This will allow them to utilise dark fiber at their own discretion and with their own equipment during the entire guarantee period of up to 2045. The active DWDM equipment can be easily replaced or modernised at any time during the period of use which will increase efficiency of the capacity they acquire.

The TEA NEXT line will be constructed based on the cutting edge Ultra Low Loss optical fibre which allow for use of all advanced long-distance DWDM equipment. The mainline will pass along the shortest route from West to East of the country with stations in largest cities[3]. Round Trip Delay will not surpass 85 m/s from Moscow to Vladivostok, and 55 m/s from Moscow to Khyagt.

Natalia Kryuchkova, Vice-President for Carrier Business and Sales of Rostelecom, commented: “TEA’s West-East infrastructure for Russian operators was built in 1990s and 2000s and, the next 5-10 years will see its replacement or significant modernisation. By the end of TEA NEXT construction, Rostelecom’s fibre optic infrastructure will not only be used by Rostelecom, but a substantial number of other Russian operators will also benefit from its technically advanced features allowing for better and more flexible planning of owned communications network. From the commercial point of view, it will provide a much more cost-effective model for long term investments in backbone network infrastructure”.

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