Azer Telecom to Build Backbone Network for Railways

Azer Telecom signs an agreement with Azerbaijan Railways to construct the backbone fiber optic network along the rail network. Railway department will utilize this network for automation and modernization of signaling and monitoring of railway networks throughout the country.

AzerTelecom is the subsidiary of the country’s first mobile operator, Bakcell. Azer Telecom was established in 2008 to focus on the fixed-line communication market in the country. The provider offers internet and data & Voice transport services as well as international connectivity.

Funds necessary to start the project has already been secured for smooth implementation of the backbone fiber optic network installation. The optical fiber cables will be laid along the protection lines of the railway tracks. Azer Telecom being a fixed line communication provider has previous experience in the implementation of similar projects for its own infrastructure.

Photo of a train traveling through a paddy field with a bunch of fiber optic cables emerging from the edge of the photo

Azerbaijan inherits the communication lines built by the Soviet Union Regime. The standards and specifications for the passive and active equipment are also influenced by the Soviet era specifications to date. Recent years have seen a flood of Chinese and other international suppliers entering the country for supplying telecommunication products.

Azerbaijan is home to a fiber optic cable maker, Sumqait Technology Park (STP), which manufacture, high voltage, medium voltage, and low voltage cables as well as the fiber optic cables. STP is located in the Sumqait city near the Caspian Sea.

Azer Telecom has been licensed to offer various fixed services including voice, internet, VPN, VoIP and integration of existing PSTN lines. The provider’s networks connect Azerbaijan with neighboring countries such as Russia, Georgia, and Iran.

The first phase of the project is scheduled for execution and operation within 2019. Implementation of the project will contribute to the strengthening of the infrastructure of Azerbaijan Railways, an introduction of new technologies throughout the infrastructure and overall digitization. This, in turn, will contribute to the provision of more sustainable services by Azerbaijan Railways.

Local newspapers have reported that this is one of the components of the Azerbaijan Digital Hub project, which will be realized by AzerTelecom. Within the framework of the project “Azerbaijan Digital Hub”, it is aimed to transform Azerbaijan into a regional center in the future, covering the Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.

Azerbaijan’s railway system was developed during the Soviet era, which uses copper communication cables. Use of fiber optic cables will enable the railways to establish communication spots along the rail networks which can be used to deliver Wi-Fi in its infrastructures. Fiber optic cables are also used for signaling control since the light signals are not affected by the vibration and electromagnetic interferences. Since various types of electrical cables will be laid along the railway tracks, copper cables for communication and signaling may produce errors. FIber optic cable has advantages over copper cables in this aspect.

Azerbaijan Railways is the national state-owned rail transport operator in Azerbaijan. It has a rail network of 2,918 kilometers. The headquarters of the Azerbaijan Railways is Baku, which is the capital of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijan Railways is one of the successors of the Soviet Railways, which was the successor of the Russian Imperial Railways.


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