Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) project that is a major regional initiative aimed at creation of transnational fiber-optic backbone targeting primarily the countries of Eurasia from Western Europe to Eastern Asia.
The project envisages building a major new transit route from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. Thus, this route will connect the biggest exchange point in Europe with the biggest exchange point in Asia. The transit route will pass China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, the way to Germany. A redundancy northern route passing Russia, Ukraine and Poland is also considered.
Realization of TASIM project will give folowing major benefits for region countries:
¨ Improved regional and global connectivity
¨ Route diversification
¨ Improved disaster resiliency
¨ Bridging digital divide and contribution to SDGs
¨ Contribution to regional innovation and modernization
Technical and commercial point of view, TASIM project is based on the following concepts:
- Integrated proprietary IP/MPLS network;
- High-capacity (several Tb/s) and scalable;
- Advanced services beyond transit;
- Points of Presence in major cities along the route;
- One of the shortest transit routes between Asia and Europe (around 11,000 km);
- Highly redundant in topology, core network devices and upstream interconnections.
- Wholesale network, intended customers are telecom operators;
- Low latency, high reliability services for financial industry;
- Optimized for high capacity video distribution.
In July 2011 in Gabala, as an outcome of this preparatory work, Azerbaijan hosted The First International Workshop on TASIM, with the participation of leading telecom operators from Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and European Union (Pantel). A Project Secretariat was established, and the operators agreed to work towards detailed MOU on establishment of TASIM Consortium. Also accordingly have been continued negotiations on consortium governance, terms & conditions and Non-Disclosure Agreement signed in seminars which was held in November 2-3, 2011 in Istanbul, and the next meeting will be held in March 8-9, 2012 in Budapest.
To run TASIM Project, there is expected to establish a consortium with the participation of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan- International Relations and Accounting Center), China (China Telcom Global Limited), Kazakhstan (“Kaztranscom” JSC), Russia (“Rostelecom” Ojsc Long-Distance and International Telecommunications) and Turkey “Türk Telekomünikasyon” A.Ş).
To found appropriate consortium, Azerbaijan side and leading telecom operators of the above mentioned countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on December 3, 2013.
TASIM project will be implemented in two stages. In the first stage, key regional countries and operators will build major transit and transport infrastructure, connecting the east and the west. This transit infrastructure will allow TASIM to become commercially viable and address the rapidly growing market of international IP transit. It is planned to complete by late 2013.
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.
In the second stage, 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 help to create open information society in the region to increase connectivity and develop e-services, thus, promoting industrial development, diversification of economy and competiveness.
In order to promote the expansion of transit routes of regional telecommunications, as well as the development of the private sector, civil society, international development institutions and intergovernmental cooperation is supposed to create the Eurasian Connectivity Alliance in conjunction with the International Telecommunication Institute. This, in turn, promotes policy dialogue on telecommunications transit route, regional promotion, support collaboration, increase education, and also serves to provide opportunities for the exchange of experiences and knowledge.