In Azerbaijan, an energy and transport center of the region, large infrastructure projects are being implemented to transform the country into a digital center.
In this direction, AzerTelecom, part of NEQSOL Holding, is implementing the “Digital Silk Way” fiber-optic infrastructure project connecting Europe and Asia via Azerbaijan. The project is primarily aimed to ensure the passage of international Internet routes through Azerbaijan, the development of information technology and digital ecosystem in the country and region.
The company has already started the construction of new fiber-optic cables in line with international standards in the Southern, Northern and Western directions along the railways in the Azerbaijani segment of the project. During the first month of construction, more than 10% (110 km) of the project scope has been completed. It is scheduled to complete the construction work within infrastructure phase in mid-2023. International consulting companies (“Detecon Consulting”, “DLA Piper” etc.) are also involved in different phases of the project. The construction of this infrastructure will allow the formation of a multiterabit backbone route with neighboring countries and strengthen the country's digital infrastructure.
Based on the interstate agreement signed between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the realization of the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Cable project along the bottom of the Caspian Sea continues in the Asian segment of the “Digital Silk Way” project. The length of the cable line along the seabed will be 380 km. The data transmission capacity will be 4-6 terabit/s at the initial stage, raising to 16 terabit/s and above in the next period. Preliminary technical survey of the seabed has been conducted by Axiom, PwC and other international consulting companies, and technical specifications for the project have been developed. Also, the layout of cable routes, the location of cable stations to be built on the shores of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have been identified, and the funds required for the project have been allocated. A consortium of companies from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan has been formed. As a result, the process of establishing a joint venture will be completed next week. In the meantime, the bidding process for the selection of vendor has been completed, the relevant legal and technical completion processes are underway to commence the construction works. It is planned to carry out the construction works within the two years. To accelerate the implementation of the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Cable Project, AzerTelecom and the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan conducted negotiations and reached relevant agreements. The joint road map was adopted and signed as well.
“Digital Silk Way” project was named as one of the five best strategic infrastructure projects in Asia at the Global Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in 2020 in the United States.
AzerTelecom, part of NEQSOL Holding, is a leading wholesale telecommunications operator in Azerbaijan connecting the country with the global Internet network.