The CIS panel confirms the progress of the project for Digital Silk Way
23m | Melanie Mingas
A Capacity Europe panel revealed that the Digital Silk Way is on track to see several milestones of the project over the coming weeks as infrastructure deployments progress.
As a project, the Digital Silk Way combines several different routes and components, which will be linked through various projects over the next 24 months. For example, the existing network in Kazakhstan will be extended to the planned Kazakh cable landing station in Aktau, on the Caspian Sea coast. From there there will be new submarine cable projects in the Caspian and Black Seas and a new fiber optic system across Azerbaijan.
For the project in Azerbaijan, supplier selection is ongoing and a Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued. For the new Caspian Sea cable, the tender is expected to be published in four to six weeks.
Stuart Evers, president of Azertelecom International, told the conference: âIn terms of building across the Caspian Sea, it’s only 350 kilometers, so it’s an unrepeated system. We are building a brand new 48 pair fiber optic system across Azerbaijan using the railway. . The call for tenders has been published for this and we are currently in the process of selecting the supplier. We plan to finalize this in early 2023, the Caspian Sea cable will also be 2023. “
Turning the focus to Turkey and Georgia, Evers said Azertelecom is developing new capabilities in both markets to enhance the existing infrastructure, including that of Caucasus Online.
Evers continued, âActually, there are just over 93 pairs of fibers going through the oil and gas pipeline. We’re going to be installing active equipment there in 2022, so it will be ready for 2023, and we’re actually building a new sea cable system in the Black Sea. It is a consortium led by our colleagues at Vodafone, and we believe it will be ready probably around 2024. “
On the project, Evers said the memorandum of understanding was being finalized and that the tender could take place as early as this year, with the selection of suppliers “next year.” Regarding completion dates, “the full end-to-end route will be available in 2023, until 2024,” he added.
The project is also known as the Digital Silk Road (DSR) and is part of China’s wider Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is also discussed during the session.
The Caucasus and Central Asia panel was chaired by Sietse Lettinga, VP Sales Europe, Raycom Global Ventures and Evers was joined by Thomas Duhr, Sales Director, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Neven Dilkov, CEO, Neterra.
The session is available to watch on the event platform until mid-November.