EaPConnect – GÉANT ‘spectrum’ link breaks new ground

A new GÉANT network link with Moldova and Ukraine marks significant milestones and first-time achievements for GÉANT, the EU-funded EaPConnect project and its partners. The new connectivity supports EaPConnect objectives to reduce the digital divide and connect Eastern Partnership (EaP) R&E sectors with GÉANT, and helps achieve EaPConnect, GÉANT and EU4Digital initiative goals to sustain long-term digital development and its benefits to society.

The new network is the first commercially procured spectrum-capable infrastructure to be used in the GÉANT network. Procured by GÉANT and partners in EaPConnect with funding in the EU’s EU4Digital initiative, this infrastructure has been secured under a 15-year Indefeasible Rights of Use contract, with reduced costs in price/Gbps/Km/year for the Moldovan and Ukrainian NRENs, RENAM and URAN.

The new Chisinau-Kyiv and Kyiv-Poznan connectivity completes a Bucharest-Chisinau-Kyiv-Poznan half ring. These sections have a 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) capacity – already a significant increase for Moldova and Ukraine. Because this infrastructure can be used with cutting-edge ‘spectrum’ technology, which enables even greater data flow by transmitting it as multiple wavelengths of light, these sections could handle around 400 Gbps or more, simply by upgrading transmission modules.

“Increased connectivity to GÉANT will contribute to deployment of new services for the R&E community of Moldova, enhance cooperation of Moldovan researchers and educators with colleagues from Europe, and promote their participation in joint international projects.” Peter Bogatencov, Chair of the RENAM Management Board

This development brings Moldova and Ukraine in line with Europe’s most advanced NRENs, and with improvements across the GÉANT network that are being undertaken in the GN4-3N project.

The new connectivity includes the first direct link between EaP countries plus two new GÉANT network PoPs (Points of Presence), in Chisinau and Kyiv. These connect with pre-existing PoPs in Bucharest and Poznan, creating additional backbone routes that extend the pan-European network. Integrating Moldova and Ukraine also strengthens the network, by improving the reliability and redundancy of connectivity to/from those countries. Furthermore, Moldova’s new second route brings the country in line with GÉANT best practices.

The strategic significance of Moldova and Ukraine is elevated by the new connectivity: research data flowing between EU countries can now transit through these EaP countries; and as Ukraine is a gateway for interconnection with more eastern carriers, connectivity via Kyiv is of even greater significance for the whole GÉANT community.

“The R&E needs for digital services are constantly growing and our network capacity should keep pace and even stay ahead. Because ‘spectrum’ channels can change capacity gradually, they will achieve this. Spectrum technology will not only allow our scientists to work with big data at sub-terabit speeds and access advanced European resources, it will help URAN improve its services and further integrate Ukrainian researchers and educators into the European R&E community.” Yevhenii Preobrazhenskii, Executive Director of URAN

Further information

EaPConnect’s new ‘spectrum’ connectivity was launched on 28 September 2021 as part of EU4Digital’s Steering Committee week:

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