Low-Latency Network To Connect London And HK

Financial traders and law firms are set to benefit from a new low-latency network between London and Hong Kong, which can conduct data on a round trip from Europe to Asia in around 176 milliseconds.

The cable network, run by UK-based trading technology company BSO Network Solutions, has been in place for some time, but previously had to route around large parts of Russia, due to difficulties laying fibre in that country.

However, a new lower latency and higher availability ‘Transit Mongolia’ connection has helped to reduce the time of a round trip by more than 20 milliseconds during the last 12 months. Improvements have also been made at BSO’s Ancotel point-of-presence (POP) in Frankfurt and Mega-I POP in Hong Kong.

“These modifications and improvements to the BSO Network Solutions’ Backbone enables us to offer the fastest network from London to Hong Kong,” said Scott Ritchie, Managing Director of BSO Network Solutions, in a statement.

New ‘Transit Mongolia’ connection

Ritchie told eWEEK Europe that large sections of the network run through Russia and China, both of which have assets and infrastructure that is either only used for internal projects or is “protected” (ie. hidden) for historic or security reasons. Recently, however, Western companies have been gaining a better understanding of how existing assets can be used for commercial benefit.

“In this instance the improvements were made through better utilisation of the existing infrastructure through the Western Sector of the cable system through Europe and more significantly we have been able to replace the Trans-Siberian Section by activating capacity on the Transit Mongolia Path,” said Ritchie (pictured).

“This not only improves our latency but also adds further resilience to our Backbone as our former path has not been decommissioned but is being used as further protection to the new Ultra Low Latency long haul route,” he said.

The new super-fast connection could allow high frequency traders and professional service specialists such as law firms to gain a competitive advantage by rapidly sending and receiving large volumes of data from Europe to Asia. BSO’s deployment over Ethernet and Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) also makes networks more stable and secure, the company claims.

According to Ritchie, the media industry could also benefit from low-latency networks, due to the increasing demand for content and digital distribution throughout the production phase.

“Latency is a tool for any network engineer in any industry. It is about the return that a company wants to generate,” said Ritchie. “As is so often the case, the Traders are the early adopters and they are really starting to reap the benefits, getting access to new markets, new customers and new revenue.

“In today’s economy I believe that getting access to these three things should be every company’s goal,” he added.

New transatlantic submarine cable

Last week it was annouced that a new transatlantic submarine communications cable would be installed on the Atlantic seabed at a reported cost of $300 million (£189m). The high speed fibre optic cable, known as the Hibernian Express, will eventually stretch to 3,741 miles (6,021km), as seabed survey work begins on the east coast of America.

The cable will offer sub 60ms latency, and it will connect financial traders in New York and London. The company behind the project, Hibernia Atlantic, said the cable would initially be lit with 40Gb technology, which could be upgraded to 100Gb technology in the future.

“Demand for low latency routes has grown exponentially over the past several years,” said Bjarni Thorvardarson, CEO of Hibernia Atlantic at the time. “Project Express will offer the lowest latency from New York to London and provide demanding customers the speed and accuracy they require.”

The technology is available to the market now and CommScope said the Amsterdam Internet Exchange is already using it to achieve greater performance.

Sophie Curtis

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