28 November 2019 - Intergovernmental agreement on laying the fiber-optic backbone cable line through the bottom of the Caspian Sea signed between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan

The intergovernmental agreement on laying the fiber-optic backbone cable line through the bottom of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan was signed on November 28 in the framework of Turkmentel 2019 – the 12th International Exhibition for Telecom and IT Industry in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The intergovernmental agreement “On organization of activities by communication operators of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in relation to the joint construction of fiber optic transmission lines along the bottom of the Caspian Sea on Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan route, their ownership, and use” was signed by Hasan Zeynalov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Turkmenistan and Gadzhimurad Khudaiguliyev , head of the Turkmenaragatnashyk (Turkmen communication) Agency under Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Industry and Communications.

According to the document, the laying of the Trans-Caspian backbone cable will be carried out by AzerTelecom, a backbone internet provider of Azerbaijan, and Turkmen telecommunication operator Turkmentelekom of Turkmenistan. The cable will be laid between the geographical points Siyazan and Turkmenbashi.

The project, to be carried out by AzerTelecom, envisages the creation of a Digital Silk Road between Europe and Asia passing through Azerbaijan. It will allow Internet traffic from the European Internet centers through Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The project will turn Azerbaijan into a hub in terms of transmission of internet traffic between Europe and South Asia and form a digital telecommunication corridor. The cable will also contribute to the development of the telecommunications sector in both countries and the whole region.

Notably, AzerTelecom is currently conducting large infrastructure projects in the country and abroad under “Azerbaijan Digital Hub” program to transform Azerbaijan into the regional digital hub. The infrastructure works outside the country envisage laying fiber-optic cable with high data transmission capacity between Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries along the bottom of the Caspian Sea. The project includes two routes: Azerbaijan – Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan – Turkmenistan. The contract between the operators and relevant interstate agreement on laying of TransCaspian Fiber Optic cable (TCFO) with the total length of 380-400 km along the bottom of the Caspian Sea have already been signed between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

AzerTelecom is the telecommunication operator of Azerbaijan and the subsidiary of Bakcell, the first mobile operator and the fastest mobile internet provider in Azerbaijan. AzerTelecom connects Azerbaijan to the global Internet network through an extended network. The company provides a range of advanced telco services to local and foreign companies.