ASTEL is Number One!
The President of ASTEL Vladimir Breusov answers the questions of our magazine
The largest non-state telecommunication operator in Kazakhstan celebrated its tenth anniversary in May 2003. Currently, ASTEL offers a wide range of services: voice, data and video transmission, Internet access, financial telecommunications, and construction of customized corporate networks in compliance with international standards. ASTEL adapts and introduces the leading edge international technology such as VSAT and DAMA satellite systems, virtual private networks, and Frame Relay data transmission in the local telecommunication market.
Ten years is quite a long period for the Kazakhstani telecommunication market. Could you say a few words about the company development history?
Our company was created when the young and rapidly developing economy of Kazakhstan needed an onrush of information technologies, because efficient communications and access to information have always been the key criteria for the development of society. Implementation of high-bit, high quality and proper organized telecommunications is one of the major development factors for a company facing tough competition. Communications networks created over the Soviet period failed to meet the requirements of modern business. This is why our company has been utilizing new technologies and services since its establishment: this turned out to be highly useful.
Launching the first KazNet ?.25 packet-switched network node and signing the first services agreement in Almaty on May 1993 was a turning point in the work of the company. The introduction of the KazMail electronic mailing system in September 1994 allowed our customers to exchange messages with other e-mailing systems. Other milestones of ASTEL’s development were establishing the Internet access in April 1996, launching data transmission services through Frame Relay and TCP/IP protocols in November 1997, and international telephone communications services in 1999. And, of course, the introduction of DAMA (“by demand” channels) satellite system in August 2001, allowing ASTEL to render the complete range of telecommunication services.
What do you consider the utmost achievement of ASTEL over those years?
It goes without saying that it is the creation of the first KazNet general-purpose data transmission network, which became a multiservice telecommunications network utilizing high-bit digital satellite, radio-relay and fibre-optic communication channels. It is noteworthy that KazNet is a part of the EQUANT international network with 1400 points of presence all over the globe, unifying the resources of the world giants such as GlobalOne and France Telecom.
At the background of other general purpose commercial networks, KazNet an unbeaten leader: its geographical coverage is vast, its hosts are located all around Kazakhstan, and network access is provided from the CIS and Baltic countries, as well as from far abroad.
Your company maintains a network of 22 representative offices all over Kazakhstan. What kind of services does ASTEL offer for the companies operating in the hard-to-reach and remote areas of the country?
It is clear that the need in reliable and quality communications is being constantly growing in Kazakhstan. Today, this trend has become especially noticeable not only in the regions with rapid economic growth, i.e. oil and gas-bearing regions of West and Central Kazakhstan, but in the regions with recovering and developing industry and agriculture.
However, the use of telephone or fax is impossible, unreliable or too expensive outside the large regional centres, i.e. at remote drilling stations, pumping plants at oil and gas pipelines, and mines. In order to provide communication in these localities we plan to organize a corporate network based upon satellite technologies by the Israeli company Gilat Satellite Networks. Today, the problems of satellite telephone communications inside Kazakhstan are solved with the help of KazNet DialAway Access services. At present, our company has successfully commissioned over 500 terminals based upon this system. Now, the DialAway terminals are linking together numerous offices and drilling sites of Hurricane Kumkol Munai Corporation into a single information space.
In addition we have developed and launched a new service named DAMA IDD, based upon the DialAway satellite communications, giving an opportunity to connect to the customers around over 290 countries around the world.
I would like to point out that the range of our services is constantly widening and improving in step with technological advances and growing demands of the customers.
The history of the company is now an example of how business should be run and developed. What is the formula of ASTEL’s success?
ASTEL has always been run with three priorities in mind: advanced technologies, high quality of services and, which is more, a desire to be the first on the domestic telecommunication market.
We keep stay at the forefront of technology by co-operating with leading domestic and foreign communication operators, producers and equipment suppliers: N.E.T., Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies, RAD Data Communications, Eicon, ABS, Newtech Distribution and many others.
The quality of our services is maintained due to the high proficiency of our staff multiplied by the closest attention to the customers’ needs. Our primary objective is to promote a successful functioning of our customers and become their reliable partner. Many of them appreciate our aspirations. This is why ASTEL is currently cooperating with large Kazakhstani enterprises, transnational companies and banks, state institutions, mass media, medium and small-sized businesses, and individuals.
I am extremely proud of the fact that today the name ASTEL means reliability of relationships and respect towards the customers. This allowed our company to win in the international festival and contest ‘’Choice of the Year in Kazakhstan” in the nomination “Communications Provider Number One in 2002 in Kazakhstan”.
We are grateful to our customers and partners for their cooperation and confidence and assure them that ASTEL is ready to continue being the Number One.
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