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President Aliyev Spotlights Digital Silk Way Project at Central Asian Summit

By Yaver Kazimbeyli September 18, 2023

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The “Digital Silk Way” project represents an innovative digital infrastructure initiative with the objective of constructing a state-of-the-art transit fiber-optic network that links Europe to Central and South Asian markets / Digital Silkway

The Digital Silk Way project once again came into the spotlight after Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev described it as a new cooperation sphere between regional countries, focused on establishing a digital telecommunication corridor between Europe and Asia.

President Aliyev made his statement during the 5th Consultative Meeting of Heads of Central Asian States in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, last Thursday, where he participated as a guest of honor.

“The Digital Silk Way project on the establishment of a fiber-optic infrastructure is the new cooperation sphere between our countries that we are actively working on,” the Azerbaijani president said, according to President.az website.

The “Digital Silk Way” project represents an innovative digital infrastructure initiative with the objective of constructing a state-of-the-art transit fiber-optic network that links Europe to Central and South Asian markets. The project was initiated by NEQSOL Holding international group of companies and is being executed through its subsidiary, AzerTelecom.

The project was recognized as one of the top five strategic infrastructure projects in Asia at the Global Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in the United States.

Upon its completion, the high-speed data transmission lines will establish the quickest and most advanced pathway for digital connectivity between Europe and Asia. It is supposed to play a substantial role in advancing digitalization and connectivity throughout the broader region, encompassing the Caucasus, Central Asia, and South Asia. At the same time, the “Digital Silk Way” project also provides the possibility of turning the region into a potential destination for global hyperscalers like Google, Amazon, Netflix, and others.

AzerTelecom, in collaboration with its Kazakhstani partner, Kazakhtelecom, has successfully executed several activities and formed a joint venture within the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic project, which serves as the Asian segment of the “Digital Silk Way” project and runs between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan along the Caspian seabed.

The newly created venture is tasked with overseeing the construction and operation of the Trans-Caspian Fiber-Optic Communication Line. The cable line along the Caspian seabed will measure 380 km, while the data transmission capacity will be up to 400 terabit/s.

Earlier this year, in March and June, AzerTelecom and Kazakhtelecom signed agreements to specify the primary conditions for collaboration as per the previous memorandum, including the implementation of tangible measures to install a fiber-optic communication line between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

AzerTelecom is also taking measures to develop the digital infrastructure in Azerbaijan.

In cooperation with Azerbaijan Railways Company (ADY), AzerTelecom has been implementing the construction of fiber-optic cable lines in the southern, northern, and western directions along the railway lines in Azerbaijan. Once ready, the cutting-edge infrastructure will establish a multi-terabit backbone route with neighboring countries and strengthen Azerbaijan’s digital infrastructure.