Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to Discuss Construction of Caspian Underwater Segment TAE

ICT Materials 15 February 2007 17:02 (UTC +04:00)

In the first quarter of 2007, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will discuss the construction of the Caspian Underwater Segment of the Optic Cable Main вЂ" Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE). The exact date of the meeting has not yet been fixed, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijan Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry.

The meeting will focus on the realization of work under the protocol signed between the Azerbaijani Telecommunication and IT Ministry and the Agency for Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the end of last year.

We plan to discuss the start of the construction work and other concrete issues, the same sources said.

The project of realization of Caspian Underwater Segment (TAE) (Baku-Aktau) was on the agenda of the Azerbaijani and Kazakh sides not for the first time, and began in 1999. Due to the absence of agreements, the construction was not carried out. According to information obtained from the Azerbaijani Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry, Azerbaijan was always the initiator in this issue, and irrespective of considerable official meetings with the Kazakh side, it was impossible to achieve certain results.

The first stage of 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 responsibility for 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 compared to the preceding period, Kazakhstan showed an interest in the project. It was particularly felt during recent meetings. That might be stipulated by the appearance of several new operators in the Kazakhstan telecommunication market. Along with KazakhTelecom, another company KazTransCom showed an interest in the project. The latter has enough work experience in the Kazakhstani 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 Azerbaijani party has nothing against the cooperation and work with this Company in the case that both parties - The Azerbaijan Telecommunication and IT Ministry and the Agency for Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan come to a common agreement.

To date, construction works of all segments of Fiber-Optic cable TAE from Shanghai to Frankfurt except the Caspian underwater section have been complete, that is why the information exchange via TAE Cable is possible only via the territories of Russia and Iran. If 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 the possibility to establish a better connection to China.