China Mobile International opens first European data center to enable connectivity between Asia, Europe

China Mobile International opens a new U.K. data center as part of its "Belt and Road" initiative to connect Asia to Europe and other regions. (China Mobile International)

China Mobile International announced on Thursday that it has opened its first European data center in the U.K. China Mobile International, a subsidiary of China Mobile, said the new data center, which opened earlier this month, serves as both an international exchange hub and an internet data center.  

The U.K. data center is part of China's "Belt and Road" initiative to provide more connectivity and closer ties between Asia and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors. The Belt and Road Initiative, which was formerly known as "New Silk Road," was launched in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping with the goals of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

China Mobile International (CMI) noted the U.K.'s fiber connectivity, stable power capacity and skilled workforce were factors for choosing to locate the data center there.

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Through the direct connection with CMI's local ring in Europe and the Asia-to-Europe SMW5 cable system, the data center links to CMI's Asia Pacific submarine cable systems, the SJC, APG and SJC2. All of which enables connections within and between Europe, Middle East and Africa, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific.

The U.K. data center can also taps into the terrestrial cable system resources covering the Belt and Road region including the Transit Europe-Asia 2 (TEA-2), Transit Europe-Asia 3 (TEA-3), Europe-Russia-Mongolia-China (ERMC), and Diverse Route for European and Asian Markets (DREAM) network. Overall, the network provides access to more than 300 cities in 31 provinces and regions throughout Mainland China.

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The U.K. data center is also a cloud connect point-of-presence (PoP) to provide on-ramps to public cloud providers and cloud exchange platforms. The data center connects enterprises to multi-cloud and hybrid cloud applications while connecting their networks globally.

"The opening of our new data center in U.K. is the sign of CMI's commitment to promoting secure and reliable high-speed connections around the world, and we continue to see strong customer demand for connectivity, cloud and content delivery solutions between Asia Pacific and Europe, but also among with Middle East and Africa regions," said Dr Li Feng, chairman and CEO of China Mobile International, in a statement.

Located in the Slough Trading Estate in Berkshire, the CMI U.K. Data Centre houses more than 1,600 racks. In addition the three individual fiber cable lead-ins, the facility is served by a dual power supply from two different power substations.

China Mobile was one of the major contributors to LF Networking's Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP.) ONAP was formed in early 2017 after the Linux Foundation combined ECOMP, which was developed by AT&T, with OPEN-O, which was backed by China Mobile. ONAP is an end-to-end orchestration and automation platform for the telecom industry.

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