Caspian Telecoms 2011

Cenk Yapıcı

10th Anniversary Regional Türkiye, Caspian, Central Asia, Russia, Black Sea Telecommunication and IT & Showcase
Caspian Telecoms Conference & Showcase is the only event for the telecoms industry for Turkey, CIS, the Black Sea States and their neighboring Caspian and Central Asian regions. The event has grown steadily over last years and has now become an essential meeting point for many professionals in the telecoms industry. The Caspian & Black Sea Telecoms Conference & Showcase acts as an international gateway into a market that offers huge potential for both established investors and new market entrants.
Caspian Telecoms Conference is a platform from which communication ministries and state telecoms companies can outline their concept for the modernization and privatization of the telecoms and IT industries to an audience of international telecoms companies and investors. The Conference was a forum in which topical issues relevant to the telecoms industry can be discussed in detail amongst both commercial and state telecom organizations, including telecom licensing, privatization, legal and financial issues. It also promotes parallel seminars and ICT exchange programs between countries and companies.

Region’s meeting place
Caspian Telecoms takes place annually and is an exclusive event for the telecommunications industry of Türkiye, the Black Sea states, and the neighboring Caspian and Central Asian regions. Telecommunications industry representatives from CIS countries, Central Asia and Europe have attended Caspian Telecoms 2011 to participate in the conference and establish business ties. Caspian Telecoms 2011 state delegations included: Türkiye, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, Greece, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Iran and Kyrgyzstan.
The Showcase is held alongside the Conference, providing an opportunity for companies within the telecoms industry to display and demonstrate their latest products and services and the new technology that helped for develop and modernize the telecoms industry in the region. The Showcase was also a great place to strengthen international partnerships and conduct business face to face.

Türkiye and the region
10th Regional Türkiye, Caspian, Black Sea and Russia Conference and Showcase of Telecommunications and IT technologies was also really important for Türkiye and the region. Türkiye's geo-political position makes it a natural communications bridge between Asia and Europe and a gateway for international sales and investments in the Telecommunications and IT sector in the Caspian region, Central Asia and CIS. Across the region, the telecommunications industry continues to experience a process of demonopolization and privatization. Telecommunication coverage is expanding and networks are being upgraded and digitalized. Satellite and mobile operations are also being developed whilst Internet and ISP use is growing as Türkiye's telecom sector prepares for EU accession.

Main Topics of the Caspian Telecoms 2011 Conference were:

  • Privatization and Liberalization of Telecom Markets in Caspian Region and Türkiye.
  • Investment Opportunities in Telecom sector of Caspian Region and Black Sea Region.
  • Mobile and Fix sector developments in Türkiye, Russia, CIS and Caspian Countries
  • Licensing issues, Standards and Regulations in Telecom industry.
  • Future development of Telecom and IT industry in Türkiye, Caspian and Black Sea Region and many other issues.


Pantel provides premium quality telecommunication solutions
Mehmet Toros, Member of the Pantel Board has talked about Pantel (a group company of Türk Telekom). He presented their services and network: “Pantel is a leading telecommunication operator in the CEE region, Turkey, Caucasus, Middle-East and beyond. It provides a full range of Internet/data services, infrastructure and wholesale voice services to incumbents, alternative carriers, mobile operators, cable TV companies, Internet service providers and corporate customers. Our mission is to exceeding our customers’ expectations by delivering high quality, reliable and flexible telecommunication solutions across the entire Central-Eastern European region, Türkiye. Our company manages a very unique network covering over 27.000 km fiber network. Besides its countrywide MPLS network in Hungary, Pantel operates an SDH, a DWDM and an MPLS network in Central and Eastern Europe and is present in main Telehouses all over the CEE region. The network architecture is composed of four individual parts: access network, transmission core network, packet-switched core network, voice core network. Applied technologies in the above mentioned four areas: fiber optic and microwave access technologies, access lines leased and DSL of our own and of partner providers, SDH and PDH, Ethernet and IP, traditional voice switches and soft switches. On SDH/DWDM level ss for high-speed STM-64 backbone rings, Pantel uses the standard protection means for SDH systems, notably: PPS (Path Protection Switching - switching over at RX side to the other aggregate direction), EPS (Equipment Protection Switching - card redundancy), APS (Automatic Protection Switching, N+1). SNCP(Sub network circuit protection), ASON(Automatic switched optical network), OS (Optical Switch). As a conclusion Pantel provides: ‘First to market advantage across CEE region and Türkiye. Unified services and customer handling across the whole service area. Extensive geographical coverage. Premium quality telecommunication solutions. Guaranteed SLA-s, Local experts and dedicated staff. Centralized end-to-end network management. Trustworthy and reliable attitude: delivering on commitment. Fast, flexible and on-time delivery. Tailor-made, scalable and cost-effective technical solutions. Track Record in the CEE region. Proven Management Team. Full service portfolio.”

Telecom Italia Sparkle is connecting the region
Telecom Italia Sparkle is a leading global telecommunication service provider, offering a complete range of Voice, Data and Internet solutions designed to meet the ever changing needs of Fixed and Mobile Carriers, ISPs, Content Providers, Multimedia Players and Corporate Customers. “We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia SpA, established on January 1, 2003 with the objective of developing and consolidating TI Group's international wholesale and retail businesses” said Paola Ferrari, CEO of Telecom Italia Sparkle. He talked about his company and also their services to Region in his presentation: “With a history of experience and know-how in a multitude of markets, we own and manage a global and technologically advanced proprietary network which comprises of three major regional systems in Europe, the Mediterranean and Latin America, to guarantee the availability of high-quality end-to-end infrastructure in areas of strategic focus. In addition, our bilateral network connects us with virtually every country worldwide.
Telecom Italia Sparkle has a global presence based on its fully owned companies and offices in 40 countries and a headcount of over 1000 in Italy and abroad. Leverage on TI Sparkle's reliable and scalable solutions to improve your business and increase your company value.
TI Sparkle's distinctive suite provides unmatched, cost-effective coverage to manage and terminate voice traffic. Your business will benefit from our worldwide voice capability combining network reliability, competitive pricing and excellent routing solutions.
TI Sparkle offers advanced IP & Data Solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Our solutions for international seamless connectivity allow you to expand or consolidate your backbone through a powerful and resilient network, or provide your customers with a secure international IP connection, directly reaching any content on the Global Internet.
Looking for innovative solutions to keep up with your fast and dynamic growth? Look no further than our TI Sparkle expertise. Reach worldwide presence on the Internet with our reliable international IP service platform. TI Sparkle's reliable and highly secure transmission service is built on a state-of-the-art fiber optic network with unrivalled network coverage.

MedNautilus in partnership with Telecom Italia Sparkle
Undersea telecommunications cable operator MedNautilus has completed Türkiye's international submarine cable system connecting Istanbul to Athens, and to the rest of Europe through MedNautilus submarine backbone. The new cable system aims to strengthen Turkey's international telecommunications infrastructure by increasing its reliability and overall capacity, and will sustain Türkiye's demand for high-speed internet connectivity. The project was carried out by MedNautilus in partnership with Telecom Italia Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia. The 3Tbps cable that lands in the heart of Istanbul is now completed and ready for service. The new Istanbul-Athens cable, adds capacity to Telecom Italia Sparkle's existing terrestrial backbone that connects Istanbul to Vienna via Bucharest and Budapest. The Istanbul-Athens cable is also the latest step of a wider investment plan in infrastructure carried out by Telecom Italia Sparkle Group in the Mediterranean Region. Telecom Italia Sparkle Group is carrying out new investments in its Data Centers in Istanbul, Athens and in Sicily to meet the increasing demand for virtualized services of both wholesale and corporate segments. He enhanced IaaS solutions will be available in MedNautilus Istanbul Data Center starting with fourth quarter.

‘We’re connecting the Planet’
Inmarsat is the world's leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. They provide voice and high-speed data services to almost anywhere on the planet - on land, at sea and in the air. During the Conference we had a meeting with Drew Brandy (Land Business Director of Inmarsat Global Ltd). He informed us about Inmarsat, their services and solutions.
“Inmarsat has been at the forefront of mobile satellite services for over 31 years. We are recognised leaders in our field and we continue to introduce new technologies that redefine the standard for our industry” said Mr. Brandy and continued: “As of August 2010, Boeing, the US aerospace manufacturer, has been contracted to build a pioneering new constellation of satellites - the Inmarsat-5s. They will form the backbone of our planned Inmarsat Global Xpress™ network, delivering mobile broadband speeds of up to 50 megabits per second.”

Inmarsat’s global coverage and safety services
“Our current fleet of 11-satellites already provides seamless mobile voice and data communications around the world, enabling users to make phone calls or connect to the internet - whenever and wherever they need - on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat's award-winning Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, for example, makes it possible for TV broadcasters to beam live breaking news from remote locations into millions of homes.
And in future, when you make a mobile phone call or send a text message from an aircraft, it's likely to be routed via the Inmarsat satellites to the ground.
But for the maritime community our communication and safety services are nothing new. Their lives and livelihoods have depended upon Inmarsat for more than a quarter of a century.
We were founded in 1979 to ensure that ships could stay in constant touch by telephone. In 1999, we became the first intergovernmental organization to transform into a private company and, in 2005, were floated on the London Stock Exchange.”

Inmarsat’s services, partners and customers
“Our services are delivered through the most versatile and reliable satellite network in the world. We own and operate 11 satellites in geostationary orbit 35,786km above the Earth, controlled from our HQ in London via ground stations located around the globe.
We sell our services through a worldwide network of distribution partners and service providers. As well as being some of the world's leading telecommunications service providers, they all have specialist satellite industry experience.
We work together with our partners to develop innovative, customized solutions for businesses and organizations all over the world.
These include major corporations from the maritime, media, oil and gas, construction and aeronautical industries, as well as governments and aid agencies. Our customers rely on us for mission-critical mobile communications. We are a trusted and integral part of their global operations.”

Network security
“Military operations require seamless, reliable and secure communications between end-users. Inmarsat is a trusted provider and works closely with its distribution partners to meet the information assurance requirements of government users.
Inmarsat services have been used in theatre with secure voice and data encryption for years. Building on this experience, our BGAN service is compatible with US legacy encryption (STU-III, STE, STU-IIB), as well as emerging NSA standards for type-1 IP encrypters. We operate a fully redundant terrestrial network. Our satellite access stations (SASs) in the Netherlands and Italy are linked by leased fiber to each other and to network and satellite operation centers in London. We also operate a "hot" back-up operations center at a secure off-site location.”

Airspan displayed 4G solutions at the Caspian Telecoms Show in Istanbul
Airspan Networks Inc., a leading provider of broadband wireless access networks, announced the expansion by Ulusnet, Mongolia, of their 4G broadband network.
Ulusnet launched its WiMAX network in 2007 and has been serving residential, business and government customers with high-speed broadband services since. With a successful business in place, Ulusnet is meeting the growing demand for broader coverage, as well as faster and more mobile services by expanding its existing network with Airspan infrastructure.
The Ulusnet network consists of a combination of Airspan micro and macro-cell equipment to gain the right type of connectivity where needed. Operating in the 2.5 GHz frequency, Ulusnet leverages the Airspan Air4G base station's compact footprint, powerful technology, fractional frequency reuse (FFR) features and the network management system to operate an efficient, low-cost network. The majority of the network is located in the city of Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city in Mongolia and home to about 38% of the nation's population. The new expansion will continue to serve the city as well as target some of the more rural countryside. “Airspan has served us well for several years,” commented Ulusnet CEO Byambatseren Davaakhuu. “We have a strong partnership that supports our rapidly growing network. Mongolia is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and with a growing economy comes a higher demand for high-speed connectivity. Ulusnet is well positioned to continue to serve Mongolian resident and commercial customers with 4G data and voice services.” Amit Ancikovsky, President of Products and Sales for Airspan, added, “Ulusnet has shown impressive growth and has managed their business intelligently. This operator is a prime example of how Airspan helps customers succeed in emerging markets. Airspan infrastructure has been an ideal match for Ulusnet, offering the right coverage, capacity and range to meet their business objectives and support their growth.”

Azerbaijan’s Trans Eurasian Super Information Highway
Ilyas Naibov-Aylisli, Head of the Executive Group of Trans Eurasian Information Super Highway, Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Repuclic of Azerbaijan talked about Trans Eurasian Super Information Highway (TASIM) in his presentation. “The TASIM initiative was launched in 2008 by the government of Azerbaijan to bridge the Eurasian digital divide. TASIM can act as a broker mediating between operators, provide IP transport services or position itself as a service exchange. It provides peering with other operators on a service layer, i.e. TASIM acts a converter or exchange of services. TASIM also may act as a trusted negotiator between operators with different visions, strategies and business styles. The unified IP Transport business model aims at establishing and operating an own transport and transit network in Eurasia. TASIM leases fiber or capacity from several operator partners, creates an interconnected backbone and wholesales the network back to the partners and other operators. TASIM creates value by providing connectivity to 2nd/3rd level countries (countries without direct border to the operator home country). Consolidating capacity and therefore creating scale effects. Committing capacity so that new routes can be built or existing ones upgrade. TASIM’s objective is to improve regional operators’ national and international footprint by facilitating the exchange of services between operators. For example, if an international company wants to interconnect offices in several countries, TASIM can help operators to avoid each-to-each contacts by becoming a single point of contact for all. TASIM’s role is to simplify service integration between operators by introducing single point of contacts, and common standard on parameters services.”

“Telecom markets continued the growth in Caspian region in 2010”
Alexander Stolyarov, Deputy Head of Wholesale Department, Company TTK informed us about the telecom market perspectives, major wholesale segments and the challenges. He talked about his company TTK Telecom also. “"Company TransTeleCom" (trademark - TTK) was founded in 1997. The major shareholder is Joint Stock Company "RZhD". In the course of three years the company has built the most modern and branched fiber-optic telecommunications line, using the most advanced and efficient telecommunication technology. Today, Company TTK operates and services the largest fiber-optic communication network in Russia, with a length of more than 53,000 km and a network capacity of 560 Gbps. The network is laid along the railways, and has more than 1,000 access nodes in all regions of Russia and connects Europe and Asia. 17 regional enterprises created in the largest Russian cities provide TTK services all over the country.
The Company is one of three leading alternative operators of fixed communication and provides 33% of long-distance channel lease, occupies 27% in the segment of backbone Internet and 31% in the IP VPN market. The consolidated return of the group of TTK companies in 2009 was 24.7 billion rubles with a profit of 936 million rubles. In September 2007 TTK began rendering services on the long-distance and international telecommunications market.
CIS & Caspian regions survived the strong impact of economic turbulence in 2008-2009. Russian GDP dropped on - 7.0% in 2009, while it grew on +4.9% in 2010. All countries will continue stable growth in next five years. Impact of economic crisis was indirect for telecom industry in 2008-2009. Development rate of telecom markets decreased, but not stopped in many countries. Russian telecom market increased about 10% in 2010. Actual change of market structure is not so fast in many countries. Voice is still the ‘King’, including fixed and mobile ones. While revenue from fixed voice services is declining. Data communications are the fastest growing segment. (Voice & wholesale transit cover 95% of market revenue)
IP is the major driver for capacity demand. Revenue grew 4 times to over $200 million in CIS & Caspian regions. Major markets are Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Capacity increased 20 times to 1,9 Tbps, while average bandwidth prices decreased 5 times for past 5 years. When we look at the large customer base mobile subscribers reached to 470 million and main telephone lines reached to 120 million. Rapid growth of international bandwidth due to increasing demand for IP capacity. Relative price per Mbps is still dramatically. Lack of infrastructure and needs for network development in some countries. TTK approach: Development through technological innovations.”

Developing VSAT for Underserved Areas in Eurasia
İlhami Aygün, Chairman, Association Satellite Antenna Electronic Communication Business People made a presentation titled as Developing VSAT for Underserved Areas in Eurasia. He talked that the Global VSAT Forum and TÜYAD are connecting the unconnected of Eurasia and the world via satellite. He continued: “We’re working for effective regulation and policy, capacity building. We’re working for also coordination of telecom infrastructure support, and TÜYAD is correspondent association of GVF for Türkiye. TÜYAD which is the GVF correspondent in Türkiye is the only professional society of its kind that encompasses private and public sector companies and institutions in Türkiye. TÜYAD promotes technical cooperation among its member; established national and international contacts, organizes educational and technical seminars, workshops forums, congresses, fair and symposia and promotes international quality standards in Türkiye.” Mr.Aygün has also indicated that the advantages of Satellite-Based Wi-Fi and business model in rural areas. “WiMAX and Satellite have many sustainability factors: Residential customers ARPU is very low ($5-$10). Emerging markets remote areas have no/few businesses. Where businesses exist, they will pay $250-$1000 per month.
Achieving profitability from residential customers only is very difficult. It will require one or more subsidies: Equipment, space segment, monthly customer charges.”

Georgia is rising…
Irakli Kashibadze, Head of Communications, IT and Innovations Department, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia made a presentation about Georgia ICT market. Kashibadze told also their operations: “Our country is decided to build a democratic and free state to ensure the rule of law, human rights, security, and prosperity for its citizens and a free market economy. As you might be aware, Georgia is undertaking a number of reforms aimed at achieving highest possible level of integration of the country into Euro-Atlantic structures. We are determined to create favorable conditions for entrepreneurship, enhancement of external trade and attraction of investment. Actually according to the World Bank’s assessment, Georgia is at 11th place out of 183 countries in the ease of doing and starting up business. Georgia has also improved showings by a number of international indices.
We are currently working on Digital TV-Radio Broadcasting Development Technical complex project. Digital TV-Radio broadcasting will be implemented until 2015 in the country. Georgian government has launched a new Georgian Governmental NetworkGGN project, first phase of which was to build the infrastructure. It was finished last year. More than 500 points were developed in different Ministries and entities in the frameworkof the project.
We have more than one million Internet users and more than three million active subscribers in mobile networks, 3.5G technologies have been already developed in Georgia. In PSTN networks modern digital switches amount 94.3% of general capacity of installed switches. The GTC Ltd., MagtiCom Ltd. and Silknet Ltd. are now developing fixed wireless telephone services subscribers are increasing day by day.”