Pan-European network operator Interoute has been extending its reach further east recently, with announcements in the past two days of initiatives both into the Middle East and deeper into Russia. It’s not an opportunistic foray, but a sustained strategy as one can see by following the breadcrumbs the company’s interest in SEACOM and its recent connectivity into Turkey.
To increase its capabilities in the Middle East, Interoute today announced that it has forged a partnership with Gulf Bridge International (GBI). GBI of course is the new 5Tbps submarine cable being put in place in the Middle East, hooking up countries in the Persian Gulf and nearby ports with India and the Mediterranean. Under the agreement, GBI will provide Interoute with bandwidth in the Middle East, while Interoute will in turn provide GBI with connectivity in Europe and to Africa and North America as well. GBI is scheduled to go into operation next year.
In Russia, the company has followed up its addition of connectivity to Moscow last year with a new office and additional personnel. Interoute is bringing in Elena Chernykh as its Russia and CIS Country manager. This seems to be a prelude to further network development in the region, whose internet population has been growing rapidly. Interoute also sees opportunities derived from the low latency terrestrial route to Asia which has been gaining more attention of late. I wonder if there aren’t some potential routes southward to the Middle East as well.
It is a testament to just how global the recent surge in bandwidth growth has been that Interoute finds expansion eastward to be more interesting than potential opportunities westward in North and South America, which objectively are also quite strong of late.