InterComms :: International Communications Project
  Intercomms Issue 17
Issue 17 Articles

50 Years of International Telecommunications

By Mr Yiannis Koulias, Director, National & International Wholesale Market, Cyta

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Yiannis Koulias
Yiannis Koulias

Yiannis Koulias is Director of National and International Wholesale Market Division at Cyta, based in Cyprus. The Division incorporates Cytaglobal, a semi-autonomous strategic business unit specialising in international communications, with special emphasis on submarine cable systems. He is also the Managing Director of Cyta wholly-owned subsidiary Cyta UK Ltd based in the UK, and the Vice-Chairman of Cyta wholly-owned subsidiary Cytaglobal Hellas AE, based in Greece. Yiannis Koulias holds a BSc Honours Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology and an MSc Degree in Microwaves & Modern Optics from University College London. He is a Chartered Engineer and Member of various professional institutions.

The ongoing globalisation of the world’s economy and the demand for new telecommunications services and applications has created a strong pressure on the telecommunications industry to provide high capacity, cost effective and reliable international infrastructure to meet the ever-growing demand. Cyta, is the primary telecommunications network and services provider in Cyprus, and is fully aware of the increasingly significant role that is expected to fulfil in the new dynamic and competitive environment, which is rapidly emerging. Cyta’s efforts at developing its network and offering state-of-the-art services, while taking advantage of the island’s strategic geographical position, have resulted in making the organisation very successful and financially robust.

Final Bight Over
Final Bight Over

Cyta offers a broad spectrum of products and services to its retail customers, based on market demand and modern technology. Particular emphasis is placed on the provision of value-added services such as information and communications technology services, triple-play services, multimedia services, and additional new services to be based on the convergence of fixed-mobile communications, which are expected to dominate Cyta’s business activities during the coming decade. In order to provide the best possible response to customer demands, Cyta is building a new generation network for the future which provides unified broadband services, enabling the high-speed transmission of all types of information, whether voice, data or video. The continuous upgrading of its network and its portfolio of products and services, combined with Cyta’s policy of steadily reducing tariffs, have enabled Cyta to offer perhaps the lowest tariffs in the European Union and Cyprus in becoming an attractive base for international companies.

Cyta’s strategic goal is to satisfy all its retail and wholesale customers’ needs for communications and information provision, by offering value and content on a state-of-the-art network infrastructure. In this way, Cyta offers to licensed national telecommunications operators an extensive portfolio of wholesale products and services, following the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and cost orientation, enabling them to build and operate their own networks. Cytaglobal, the international wholesale strategic business unit of Cyta, takes full advantage of the privileged geographical location of the island at the crossroads of three continents, and is particularly active in the submarine cables business, providing innovative international wholesale solutions on a global basis.

Landing of Alexandros subsystem at Pentaskhinos, Cyprus
Landing of Alexandros subsystem at Pentaskhinos, Cyprus

In the last decade, Cyta has invested heavily in the construction of submarine cables and is now primarily connected to the outside world through nine high-capacity submarine cable systems and subsystems. The existing submarine cables and all-fibre coastal links are interconnecting Cyprus, via multiple landing stations, with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean and the rest of the world. Cyta also co-owns transatlantic cable systems and other regional cable systems that are used to further extend its international reach. Cyta’s satellite network consists of multiple satellite teleports with more than 25 satellite stations, linking Cyprus with major satellite systems such as INTELSAT, EUTELSAT, SES, THOR, ASIASAT, RSCC, ARABSAT and ABS, providing enhanced global connectivity. Cyta has multi-years experience in the satellite communications business, providing via its teleports, hosting facilities to third parties, satellite telemetry, tracking and control, television broadcasting, international voice and data, VSAT services, and global internet connectivity.

Following the recent strategic agreement with Telecom Egypt, Cyta has acquired the ALEXANDROS submarine cable subsystem consisting of separate fibre-pairs between Cyprus-Egypt and Cyprus-France, each with 96×10Gb/s total capacity. Through ALEXANDROS, Cyta achieves an optimum configuration for its business needs, enhancing connectivity in the Mediterranean and providing international network robustness and reliability. At the same time, ALEXANDROS allows Cyta to provide high-quality bandwidth to other carriers and access new markets. Telecom Egypt in turn, has obtained both the opportunity to transport Cyta traffic to key European and Asian destinations, and the opportunity to cost-effectively reach regional markets accessible via Cyprus, thereby creating reciprocal Eurasian business opportunities.

Installing Iris antenna
Installing Iris antenna

The cable and satellite facilities provide the resources for building public and private international telecommunications networks, which are utilised to offer a multitude of products and services. Cyta through Cytanet provides reliable multiple high-speed connections to the internet core infrastructure and serves as a regional internet centre. In partnership with its international correspondents, it provides enhanced voice and data connections to most fixed and mobile telephony networks in more than 240 countries and territories. Through its advanced CytaWorld.Net network with points-of-presence in Nicosia, Athens and London and international extensions beyond, it provides unified voice, data and video end-to-end solutions to multinational corporations and telecommunications providers, worldwide. Cyta through Cytaglobal sells and leases international capacity and is marketing wholesale voice and data in the national and international wholesale markets, in competition with other global wholesale providers.

Today, Cyta is in the final stages of upgrading and developing a completely new cable infrastructure with Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Italy and France in order to provide significant increase in bandwidth and enhanced connectivity through multiple ring-configurations with exceptional quality and reliability. Satellite services are rapidly expanding and supplement Cyta’s far-reaching fibre optic connections. Cable and satellite services are supported on a 24-hour basis through advanced network management systems, and as the rest of Cyta’s business activities are certified to the ISO 9001:2000 quality standard and recognised for excellence with 5-stars by the European Foundation for Quality Management.

Cyta’s vision is to offer to people modern solutions of electronic communications which give them the freedom to discover and communicate with the world. Committed to continually upgrading Cyta’s international infrastructure, Cytaglobal’s dependability is firmly rooted in devoted highly-skilled personnel, bound by a common goal, a common vision and a common commitment to succeed and to serve its customers.

After Cyprus accession in the European Union, Cyprus has now become Europe’s furthermost border in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyta as an established regional hub aims to utilise its extensive international infrastructure in becoming the telecommunications bridge between East and West, and a centre of excellence in the broader Mediterranean region. Cyta is very proud of the tradition that hard work and relentless effort has helped to create in the past 50 years. This tradition is of an organisation that provides superior service, utilising state-of-the-art technologies, with a human touch behind all. Cyta aims to maintain and enhance this tradition in the new competitive environment.

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