Baku and Aktau to become digital poles of Caspian region
The Caspian Digital Hub involves the construction of fiber optic links along the bottom of the Caspian Sea and includes the construction of an underwater fiber optic cable on the Caspian bottom, as well as the construction of two data centers in Aktau (Kazakhstan) and Baku (Azerbaijan).
Issues of creating a Digital Hub in the Mangistau region in Kazakhstan were discussed at a meeting on the project to create a Caspian digital hub, The Times of Central Asia writes in the article Kazakhstan’s Mangistau to become a digital hub in Caspian region. The meeting, held last Friday, gathered representatives of the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development, akimat (administration) of the Mangystau region, Kazakh Invest national investment promotion company, Kazakhstan Investment Development Fund KIDF, and JSC Transtelecom, Kazakh Invest reported.
The project will create a communication channel for data transfer from Europe to Asia, through Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The project will contribute to the creation of an open information society in the Eurasian region and the development of Internet services, which will positively affect the development and diversification of the economies of the region. During the meeting, issues requiring attention and solutions with the participation of state bodies were considered. To provide data centers with uninterrupted power, it is necessary to have a power station running on gas or renewable sources in close proximity to data centers. Along with this, a number of organizational issues need to be resolved, not only a roadmap is required but also close interaction of interested parties for the implementation of the project.
On behalf of Kazakh Invest, a discussion was initiated of possible preferences, risks, as well as a number of measures to service support of potential investors. Along with this, the meeting participants announced a number of conditions the solution of which will help attract foreign investors and large client companies, including transnational ones, to transfer their traffic to the end-user. Among them are such international high-tech companies as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, as well as Kazakhstani companies.
“Today, UK companies are very interested in the project, which carry out construction, manage such objects, and also own energy-generating capacities around the world. At the same time, the involvement of international investment companies for equity participation in the project is being considered. The creation of the Trans-Caspian Fiber optic communication line with the participation of investors will open up new opportunities for the development of the economies of both states, as well as affect the stimulation of business activity in the Caspian region. As a result, the country will receive a technological hub on its territory, operating income, and new jobs, both during construction and operation," said Yahiya Tuleshov, IT Project Manager at Kazakh Invest.
Last year, the Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan launched the TransCaspian Fiber Optic project to build fiber-optic communication lines between the two countries along the bottom of the Caspian Sea. The project aims to expand data transmission capabilities in Kazakhstan and increase the data transit to the Asia-Europe direction. The length of the cable along the bottom of the Caspian Sea will be about 400 km, the design data transfer capacity is at least 4-6 terabits/s. In order to build the Trans-Caspian line a consortium was created between the telecommunications operators of the two countries, a joint working group was established, as well as a joint agreement was signed for the construction. It is planned that the fiber-optic communication line will be commissioned by the end of 2021.