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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Broadband Link to Europe

Finnish telecommunications group Sonera on Wednesday opened the first-ever broadband network connecting Moscow with Western Europe.

The link, which connects Russia's capital with Finland through St. Petersburg, is the "widest channel connecting Russia and the Western world," Sonera said in a statement Wednesday.

The company already operates a similar network between St. Petersburg and Finland.

"This is the first network of its kind, based on dense wavelength division multiplexing technology, to reach Moscow," Tuomo Kokkila, senior vice president at Sonera Carrier Networks Ltd., said in a telephone interview from Helsinki. DWDM is an optical technology used to increase bandwidth over existing fiber-optic backbones.

"Our intention is to lease this capacity to both Russian and Western operators, and that's what we are doing already," he said.

Sonera began operating in Russia in 1992, when it started building a fiber-optic network connecting St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The company began to lease the network in 1996. The company finished a network between Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1998.

Sonera owns a 26 percent stake in Russia's No. 3 cellular operator, Megafon.