Azerbaijan starts fiber optic cables production

By: Nigar Orujova

Sumgayit Technologies Park has launched production of fiber optic cables, Mehman Isgandarov, specialist at the STP, said on December 24.

The production based on STP will be making it possible to fully meet domestic demands, he stressed.

“Currently, STP is negotiating with relative operators in Azerbaijan on further cooperation, This envisages delivery of the products to them for expansion of optic communication lines,” Isgandarov said. “In terms of prices, the local products can cost customers about 30 percent cheaper than its foreign counterparts.”

He said that European technologies and equipment are used for the production of the optical, as well as all other types of cables. Sumgait Technologies Park is the only manufacturer of this product in the country, he noted.

The park is also interested in cooperation with the Azerbaijani Communications and High Technologies Ministry, the initiator of the broadband Internet development project in the country.

“Due to the fact that the production of fiber has started not so long ago, cable product (fiber optic, coaxial and LAN cables) accounts only for 15 percent of the total production volume,” Isgandarov said. “The annual production capacity of the enterprise is about 20,000 metric tons.”

It is reported that at present, about 10,000 kinds of cables are produced on the basis of Sumgait Technologies Park.

“ The production of 500-kv cables will be launched at the begining of 2015” he added. “We have already built a tower of 130 meters for this purpose. The launch of their production will allow Azerbaijan to take the leadership in the region and in the CIS in general, because their production technology has not yet been established in the countries of the former Soviet Union.”

Currently, production of 200-kv cables is in the test stage. The next stage involves establishment of production of 330-kv cables, and then the 500-kv ones, Isgandarov noted.

The demands for fiber optic cables are expected to increase substantially in the country with the implementation of the project for development of broadband Internet in Baku and Azerbaijani regions.

The project for national broadband Internet development will be implemented over three years with the support of the State Oil Fund. The fund is going to allocate about 103 million manats (about $131 million) to the implementation of the project in the first stage.

The cost of the ‘Fiber to the home’ project is estimated at more than 450 million manats ($573 million). The project is considered highly profitable. Around 30-35 percent of its total cost will be financed through reinvestments beginning at the second year of its implementation.

The ultimate goal of the project is to provide the country, including remote rural settlements, with high-speed Internet in the range of 30-100 Mbit/s, and to increase the number of broadband Internet users up to 85 percent from the current 70 percent.

This will allow Azerbaijan to reach the level of developed countries by 2017.

At present, the penetration rate of broadband Internet among the population is 50 percent.