Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan boost telecom industry in Central Asia

Azerbaijan’s main wholesale telecommunications operator, AzerTelecom, and its Kazakh counterpart, Transtelecom, have agreed to cooperate with telecommunications operators represented in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Project (TCFO).

As part of the CIS GCCM 2021 conference, held in Nur-Sultan this week, AzerTelecom and Transtelecom signed two cooperation protocols – one with Telegraph 42 Management Gmbh, represented in Uzbekistan, and another with ElKat , represented in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

The Trans Caspian Fiber Optic project aims to build a fiber optic cable line along the bottom of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Azerbaijani and Kazakh telecommunications operators launched the project at the end of 2019.

Speaking at the conference, AzerTelecom Chairman of the Board Fuad Allahverdiyev said that the implementation of the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Project (TCFO) opens up new opportunities for the development of cooperation not only between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, but also between the countries of Central Asia.

“We believe that in light of the increase in internet consumption in the world, this large-scale digital project will contribute to the development of the telecommunications industry in the region, as well as to the expansion of business. between countries and businesses, ”Fuad said. Allahverdiyev said.

The fiber-optic cable stretching nearly 400 km (249 mi) along the bottom of the Caspian Sea is expected to transmit data with a capacity of at least 4 to 6 terabits per second.

Galikhan Mukhamed-Rakhimov, who heads TCFO at Transtelecom, believes the project is the only alternative to existing land roads.

“TransCaspian Fiber Optic is a huge digital infrastructure project. Today we see it as the only alternative to existing land routes. I am sure that with our partners at AzerTelecom we will be able to achieve a fundamentally new level of service delivery and ensure the long-awaited diversification of routes between Europe and Asia, ”he said.

Meanwhile, when completed, the fiber optic cable will be part of the much larger Digital Silk Way project.

Launched by NEQSOL Holding in 2018 and implemented by its subsidiary AzerTelecom, the Digital Silk Way project aims to build a modern fiber optic (FO) transit infrastructure network connecting Europe to the markets of Central and South Asia. . The project is supposed to develop the digital ecosystem of the region in accordance with the most advanced global standards, as well as improve access to the internet and digital services for people residing in the regions of the Caucasus, the Middle East, Central and South Asia.

At the same time, the Digital Silk Way project also offers the possibility of transforming the region into a potential destination for global hyperscalers like Google, Amazon, Netflix and others.

In 2020, the Global Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in the United States selected the Digital Silk Way project as one of the top five infrastructure projects in Asia.

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