TODAY.AZ / Analytics

BSEC countries desirable members for TASIM

24 December 2014 [11:04] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Aynur Jafarova

Azerbaijan is looking for ways to attract new members to the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway project, a major regional initiative aimed at creating a transnational fiber-optic backbone. The country is eying primarily the countries of Eurasia from Western Europe to Eastern Asia.

Head of the Working Group on the TASIM project Zaur Hasanov told AzerNews that currently, the TASIM project members include five operators from five countries - International Relations and Calculation Center under Information and High Technologies Ministry, China Telecom, KazTransCom, Rostelecom and Turk Telecom International.

“New members can be admitted by these five companies through common consensus,” he added.

TASIM is aimed to build a platform for improving connectivity in Eurasia involving Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and China.

As an initiator of the project, Azerbaijan plans to involve member states of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in TASIM.

During Azerbaijan’s chairmanship at the BSEC committee on science and technology in 2014-2016, TASIM will be introduced to the BSEC members to raise awareness of the project and the benefits it can give to the members.

“The project may attract new members as many countries are interested in TASIM,” he said.

Hasanov went on to add that TASIM is a long-term project and will be implemented step by step.

"Currently, the project has gained international support and works on it are underway successfully. The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted resolutions on the TASIM project in 2009 and 2012. Furthermore, various organizations expressed their supports to the TASIM project. The organizations include the WorlD Bank, UN ESCAP, BSEC and SPECA," he said.

Currently, the operators are holding negotiations on signing a general agreement. This year the consortium members convened their fifth meeting to mull various important issues on implementation of the project. Negotiations with Kazakhstan on laying the underwater segment of the cable were held as well.

The TASIM project with an initial cost of $100 million envisages creation of a major transit link from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. The line will connect major centers of information exchange in Europe and Asia together, stretching through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Germany. A reserve North transit line will pass through the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the establishment of the TASIM consortium during the 19th international BakuTel-2013 conference and exhibition in December.

TASIM will be implemented in two stages. The project is expected to come on stream at the cost of $100 million. The length of TASIM will be 11,000 kilometers and its initial network bandwidth will reach 2 Tbit/s.

Hasanov noted that in the first stage, leading regional countries and operators will create a main internet transit infrastructure connecting East and West together.

"This transit infrastructure will allow the TASIM project to meet the requirements of the commercially favorable international IP internet transit market. The regional countries distinguish for the development of the telecom sector and market requirements. Latency and IP internet network services are considered important in the developed countries. In the developing countries, elementary connections and access to the international internet services are among the main priorities," Hasanov noted.

In its second stage, TASIM will provide the Eurasian countries with no access to the open seas with internet on available fees by using transit infrastructure, he stressed.

The participants of TASIM have approved the World Bank's proposal on laying the third alternative route through the territory of Turkmenistan. This route also leads to China, as well as the East Asian countries, including Indonesia and Vietnam, with a high demand for internet capacity.

One of the main plans in the implementation of the TASIM project is the construction of the Caspian segment of TASIM, which will connect the largest information exchange centers of Europe and Asia.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have already made arrangements in this regard and a contract will be signed in near future on the construction of the underwater segment.

However, Alexander Kislitsin, Executive Director for Infrastructure Projects of Kazakhstan's KazTransCom believes that the Caspian Sea's indefinite legal status is hampering the construction of the underwater segment of TASIM.

He earlier told Trend Agency that there are still problems on border crossing, and no final decision has been made yet.

Experts believe that resolving the issues hampering the implementation of the project will accelerate TASIM’s implementation.


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