New fibre network links Asian and European research efforts

Created June 20, 2019
Applications and Research

A new 100G fibre link is set to boost research and education collaboration between the Asia-Pacific and European regions with faster and cheaper connectivity.

An international consortium of six research and education (R&E) networks, including AARNet (Australia), GÉANT (Europe), NORDUnet (European Nordics), SingAREN (Singapore), SURF (The Netherlands) and TEIN*CC (Asia-Pacific), have announced the launch of Collaboration Asia Europe-1 (CAE-1), a new 100G link between Singapore and London for research and education.

The link will provide additional capacity to meet the rapidly growing bandwidth needs of trans-national education and data-intensive science collaborations between Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

By working together, the consortium of six R&E networks, operating across 11 time zones, was able to procure far beyond what a single R&E network could procure across such a vast 13,000 kilometre distance.

NORDUnet CEO René Buch said, “The Consortium achieved what no single NREN (national research and educational network) could accomplish. The CAE-1 Project has paved the way for future collaborations by providing significant connectivity for our constituency at far less cost.”

The new CAE-1 is routed via the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. This path between the two continents is more direct than the links routed via the North Atlantic Ocean, across North America and across the Pacific Ocean that have carried much of the R&E traffic to date.

A more direct and shorter route secures lower latency and reduced costs, the two important factors in the race to meet customer demands due to increasing R&E traffic between the two continents.

The signing of the Consortium Agreement took place at the TNC19 Conference in Tallinn, Estonia on 18 June (pictured). CAE-1 is closely connected to other intercontinental R&E network collaborations established recently, such as the ANA (Advanced North Atlantic Collaboration, a collaboration across the North Atlantic Ocean) and the APR (AsiaPacific Ring, a collaboration between Asia and the US).

These initiatives are all implementations of the GNA (Global Network Architecture), an international effort to develop a set of global collaboration principles, on a technical level as well as in regards to sharing costs and aligning investments. The GNA has defined a reference architecture and created a roadmap for both national and regional R&E networks to “seamlessly support bandwidth for research and education.”

These efforts support the building of the GREN, (Global R&E Network). René Buch adds, “CAE-1 is a ground-breaking step forward in building the Global Research & Education Network infrastructure, as it demonstrates the advantages of collaboration and the power of procuring together in consortia.”

For more information, visit



This article was written
by Antony Savvas

Antony Savvas is a global technology journalist covering the key trends in the communications industry, and was there at the beginning of mobile business and ICT convergence, the move to the cloud and now digital transformation