Azerbaijan’s leading wholesale telecommunications operator, AzerTelecom, is pressing ahead with the implementation of the “Digital Silk Way” project, a telecommunications corridor to connect Europe and Asia via Azerbaijan.
AzerTelecom and its Kazakhstani partner Transtelecom have already completed a number of activities and established a joint venture responsible for the construction and operation of the Trans-Caspian fiber optic cable line — Digital Silk Way’s Asian segment stretching between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan along the Caspian seabed.
An interstate agreement between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan provides for the construction of data transmission cable lines along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which will measure 380 kilometers in length and enable more than 16 terabits per second transmission speed.
The international consulting companies have already conducted a preliminary technical survey of the Caspian seabed. The technical specifications for the project have been developed, and the bidding process for the vendor selection has been completed. The sides also identified the layout of cable routes and the location of cable stations to be built on the shores of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The construction works are expected to be completed in two years.
In Azerbaijan, AzerTelecom, in cooperation with Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, implements construction of fiber-optic cable lines in the southern, northern, and western directions along the railway lines. The construction of 110 km — or more than 10 percent — out of an over 1000 km cable network has already been completed. The construction works within this segment is planned to be completed around mid-2023. Once ready, the cutting-edge infrastructure will establish a multi-terabit backbone route with neighboring countries and strengthen Azerbaijan’s digital infrastructure.
The “Digital Silk Way” project implemented by AzerTelecom, part of NEQSOL Holding, is a cutting-edge digital infrastructure project that aims to build a modern transit fiber-optic infrastructure network connecting Europe to Central and South Asian markets. Once complete, it will provide the shortest, fastest, most advanced route for digital connectivity between two continents, making a significant contribution to the development of digitalization and connectivity in the wider region, including Caucasus, Central, and South Asia.
In 2020, the Global Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in the US selected the Digital Silk Way project as one of Asia’s top five infrastructure projects.