According to internet monitoring firm Renesys, the 46km Kerch Strait Cable – which provides a telecommunications link between Russia and the newly-annexed Crimean peninsula – is now up and running, with Crimean internet service providers (ISPs) receiving their first traffic over the newly constructed fibre link on 24 July. The cable has a reported capacity of 110Gbps, and cost around RUB900 million (USD25.1 million) to deploy. Although construction on the link was completed on 25 April, it has taken state-backed Rostelecom three months to establish inter-provider routes. Services are said to be offered via Rostelecom’s local agent Miranda Media.
In related news, Russia’s K-Telecom switched on its cellular network in Crimea on 4 August. The news was revealed in a video conference between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Communications and Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov. K-Telecom is thought to be wholly-owned by Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), which previously offered services in Crimea via its MTS-Ukraine unit. Last month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that MTS-Ukraine ceased retail activities in the disputed peninsula on 30 June, with replacement Russian SIM cards distributed instead.