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Date:02/12/13

Memorandum of Understanding on ‘TASIM’ project to be signed within ‘Bakutel-2013’ exhibition & conference


A Memorandum of Understanding on “Trans Eurasian Information Super Highway” project (TASIM) is expected to be signed within the “Bakutel-2013” Telecommunication and Information Technologies exhibition & conference that will be held in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku on 2-5 December 2013.  This information was revealed to “ICTnews” online news service by the head of the Working Group for “TASIM” project Zaur Hasanov. 

According to him, the document will be signed by mobile operators from 5 countries – Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia and China. “The document will define conditions and time pertaining to the implementation of the “TASIM” project. Under the memorandum, mobile operators operating in other countries will also be able to join the “TASIM” project after obtaining permission from the stated 5 countries.”

The Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) is a project of regional importance, whose aim is laying a transnational fibre-optic line covering the countries of Eurasia from Western Europe to Eastern Asia. The project envisages the creation of a major transit link from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. The line will connect the major centres of information exchange in Europe and Asia. The transit line will stretch through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Germany.

A Reserve North transit line will pass through the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Poland. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MCIT) initiated the TASIM project on the sidelines of the 14th International Exhibition of Communication and Information Technologies (Bakutel) during the ministerial meeting in Baku in November 2008. On December 21, 2009 a resolution was adopted at the 64th plenary meeting of the UN general Assembly for creation of superhighway TASIM. The resolution, supported by the representatives of 30 countries, was adopted by consensus, and the special role of the Azerbaijan Republic was noted in coordination of TASIM. On December 21, 2012 a new resolution on the “TASIM” project was unanimously adopted at the UN general Assembly. The new resolution envisages measures aimed at eliminating “digital inequality” in the Eurasian region through the development of the relevant telecommunication infrastructure and strengthening cooperation between the private and the government sector.

In April 2010, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan established a management group for TASIM, which, in collaboration with an international consultant, has formed a preliminary business concept of the project and discussed the creation of a consortium for implementation of the project with key regional states and operators. Azerbaijani side organized the first international workshop on TASIM in July 2011 in Gabala, which was attended by leading telecom companies – China Telecom (China), Kaztranscom (Kazakhstan ), Rostelecom (Russia), Turktelekom (Turkey) and Pantel (European Union). The Secretariat of the project was created as a result of the meeting and the operators agreed to start work on the detailed memorandum of understanding for establishment of a consortium TASIM. The Secretariat has acted as a coordinator recently in bringing together major telecom operators who have agreed to form a consortium for TASIM. The Secretariat TASIM also makes efforts to promote the project and is focusing on attracting new stakeholders.

The Secretariat has established links with the European Union, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the Secretariat of the United Nations, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and the Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), which are reflected in the relevant documents. It is essential to note that regional countries differ in terms of the development of the telecom sector and the market needs. “Latency” connection and high-quality IP network services in the most developed countries are considered important. Elementary connection and access to the international Internet services are priority in less developed countries.

TASIM is a long-term initiative and will be implemented in two stages. In the first phase leading regional countries and operators will create a major Internet transit infrastructure, linking the West and East. This transit infrastructure will allow TASIM to correspond to commercially attractive and rapidly growing international market for IP Internet transit.

The process is planned to be completed in late 2013. In the second phase of the project, it is supposed that by using the established transit infrastructure, TASIM will provide the Eurasian countries that do not have direct access to the open sea, including Central Asia, with Internet connection at affordable rates. According to the plan of the national telecom infrastructure, new fiber-optic lines will be constructed, the existing lines will be upgraded and connected to the network TASIM. In the second phase of the project TASIM will be carried out in accordance with the UN mandate.

TASIM will contribute to the creation of an open information society in the region, to increase the speed of Internet connection and the development of Internet services, which, in turn, will lead to economic development, diversification of the economy and increased competition.
 



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