Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Telecommunication Offices Signed a Protocol on TAE Project

The Azerbaijan Telecommunication and IT Ministry and the Agency for Informatization of the Republic of Kazakhstan have signed a protocol on laying the Caspian Underwater Segment of the Optical Cable Main Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE), a source in the Azerbaijan Telecommunication Ministry told Trend. The decision on signing the document that will reinforce cooperation between the two parties in this issue was taken during the recent meeting in Moscow.

Further steps in this issue will be determined after the Telecommunication Ministry of the Country receives the protocol, said the source in the State Body.

The first stage of the negotiations between the State Agencies of the two countries on TAE was held in February, 2006. The Kazakhstan party said that it is ready to take obligations on the partial financing to lay the cable. For its part, Azerbaijan claimed that it has the possibility to finance 50% of the project cost.

Specialists say that comparing with the preceding period, Kazakhstan has shows more interest to the project. It was particularly felt during the recent meetings. That might be stipulated for the appearance of several new operators at Kazakhstan telecommunication market. Along with KazakhTelecom, another company KazTransCom has begun showing interest to the project as well. The latter has enough work experience in Kazakhstan telecommunication market.

During the meeting with representatives of KazTransCom, it was said that the Company was ready to provide more than 50% of all the expenses. The Azerbaijan party has nothing against the cooperation and work with this Company in case if the both parties - The Azerbaijan Telecommunication and IT Ministry and the Agency for Informatization of the Republic of Kazakhstan come to a common agreement.

To date, construction works at all segments of Fiber-Optic cable TAE from Shanghai to Frankfurt except the Caspian underwater section has been complete, that is why the information exchange via TAE Cable is possible only via the territories of Russia and Iran.

In case the project starts, Azerbaijan will become the key transit country in the region. The Project will allow Middle Asian countries to directly link with Turkey. At the same time Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and other countries will obtain a possibility to establish a better connection with China.

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