“The gateway to the Middle East”

Bülent Şen, Regional Director for DE-CIX Turkey, looks at the strategic role of Turkey in connectivity between Europe and Asia, and the growing trends in Internet use in the region.

Bülent Şen will be speaking at Capacity Europe East in 5 June 2017 in Dubrovnik. eco Members can still secure a 15% discount on tickets to the event using the code EE2017-ECO

What do you see as the biggest drivers currently of traffic growth in Turkey and Eastern Europe?

Access to the Internet is getting cheaper and cheaper, and is available everywhere. User demand is increasing every day, due to the fact that our lives are almost impossible without the Internet. Think of online banking, gaming, shopping, all types of e-commerce, etc….and with IoT on the doorstep, we are looking forward to a fully-embedded digital future. In my region, even though the Internet experience is not yet at the levels that Europe is experiencing, the usage is huge and growing exponentially.

How is the market for OTTs developing in the region and what can an interconnection hub like DE-CIX Istanbul do to support them?

The OTT market is growing at a fast pace, as access to content is available from all kind of devices connected to the Internet - just think of smart phones, smart TVs, laptops desktop computers, and tablets, for instance. This has given a boost to the business of OTT providers. DE-CIX İstanbul is THE place for OTT providers to be connected to in order to have access to all operators and to be able to deliver their content from one to all in a fast, secure and high quality way.

How much impact is the cloud having on demand for interconnectivity services in the region?

In the cloud services are expected to be always on, and always available. In order to be able to provide that kind of service, a cloud provider needs to ensure itself of the best place to be interconnected. The best way to be interconnected is to be connected to a digital hub (like DE-CIX İstanbul), where you can have access to all the necessary connectivity providers, which in their turn can provide you access to the end user.

DE-CIX has even created a service to make it easier to connect, called DirectCLOUD – the best service to have direct and secure connection to a cloud with guaranteed SLAs (defining service levels for e.g. delay, jitter and quality). DE-CIX DirectCLOUD is currently available in Frankfurt and will also be launched in all DE-CIX Internet Exchanges in 7 countries, and in a further 10 POPs.

How does DE-CIX work to increase security for connected networks and services?

Currently DE-CIX offers a standard service free of charge called Blackholing. This is a customer-triggered service which, in the event of a DDoS attack, can divert the attack to a pre-defined IP address (black hole), which will mitigate the attack.

This service is also available remotely, meaning the attack can be mitigated before it even hits your network in the target country.

Why Turkey? What are the strategic benefits of connecting to an interconnection hub in Istanbul?

Geographically, Turkey is a country that is strategically very well located. It acts as the gateway to the Middle East. It has several sea cables landing in Marmaris and has the best terrestrial connectivity in the region connecting the Middle East to Europe. Having DE-CIX as an interconnection hub in İstanbul will allow all the surrounding countries to connect to the operators and content that they would normally would have to get from Frankfurt, Amsterdam or London. Sourcing their content from distant European hubs creates huge delays, and decreases the quality of the Internet traffic, not to mention the impact on security. On the other hand – with our GlobePEER Remote product – companies outside of Turkey that do not own a local business subsidiary, can easily connect with local Turkish providers and networks from outside the country using DE-CIX Istanbul from Frankfurt.

Bülent Şen is the Regional Director for DE-CIX Turkey, and has over 20 years of sales, marketing and management experience in the ICT and telecommunications industry. His results focused approach has proven effective in growing companies and establishing meaningful relationships with customers in various global regions, including Europe and the Middle East.

Prior to joining DE-CIX, Şen provided strategic consulting, including business and sales strategy development, in his position as a Business Development Consultant for Gulf Bridge International (GBI). Additionally, he also served as the Regional Sales Director Turkey, Caspian and MENA for Türk Telekom International.