Iran to use 10% of EPEG capacity, communications minister says

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7

By Milad Fashtami, Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

Iran plans to use 10 percent of the capacity of the new cable system - Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG), Iran's minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mahmoud Vaezi told Trend on Nov.7.

Vaezi said that some 3,000 kilometers of the EPEG cable system passes through Iranian soil, so Iran intends to use 10 percent of the project's capacity domestically.

"The capacity of the project is more than 3 Tbps which is considered too high," he said.

Vaezi went on to note that the country also plans to collect "good" transit fees by this project.

"The internet transit fees change constantly, so we cannot decide about the final fee right now. But Iran's revenues from this project are expected to be considerable," he said.

In June 2011, a consortium of four leading telecom carriers from four countries signed the Construction and Maintenance Agreement for the new cable system - Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG). The new system with an initial capacity of 540 (54×10) Gbps was put in operation in December 2012.

The system passes from Frankfurt across Eastern Europe, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Persian Gulf to Barka in the Sultanate of Oman.

EPEG members Cable & Wireless, Rostelecom, Omantel, and TIC build and develop part of the network which operates through their own countries. The route via Azerbaijan is organized on the basis of the capacity of the EPEG associated partner - Delta Telecom.

The design capacity of the EPEG system is up to 3.2 Tbps with total length of approximately 10,000 kilometers, 9,500 kilometers of which is a terrestrial fiber cable.

According to Vaezi, Iran is in talks with India to extend the project to New Delhi.

"EPEG is expected to connect to other international gateways including Europe India Gateway. Once EPEC gets connected to EIG, practically Iran's network will be connected to India and all the other Asian states," the Iranian minister explained.

Europe India Gateway (EIG) is a submarine communications cable system to connect the U.K., Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and India.

It is about 15,000 kilometres long. It is capable of delivering up to 3.84 terabits per second.

The Iranian minister further referred to Tehran and Baku's cooperation in the project, saying that Iran is working with two Azeri companies in the internet sector.

"One of the firms is Azertelecom and the other one is Delta Telecom," Vaezi explained.

According to the official, Tehran is also cooperating with an Omani company (Omantel) in this regard.

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