Toyota Tsusho, NEC to upgrade Uzbektelecom backbone network

13 March 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Toyota Tsusho and NEC have signed a contract with Uzbek state-owned communication carrier, Uzbektelecom, to expand and improve its nationwide network infrastructure.

The system, which will substantially improve Uzbekistan's communications environment and facilitate the enhanced use of mobile phones, the internet and cloud-based services, is expected to be completed in 2019.

Over the past 20 years, loans extended by the Japanese government have supported the Republic of Uzbekistan's deployment of optical fibre cables and the construction of fixed communication systems across the country. Today, trends are demanding faster speeds and larger capacity from fixed networks, and mobile communications are requiring large capacity from fixed networks to provide LTE services.

“NEC has been actively operating in Uzbekistan since 1992,” said Koji Nakamura, chief representative of the NEC Tashkent liaison office. “In this project, NEC will provide an optical wavelength multiplexing data communication system and microwave radio system, in addition to training operators from Uzbektelecom, thereby contributing to the operation of the national communication infrastructure, an important asset for the entire Republic of Uzbekistan.”

Recently, the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, outlined large-scale plans and important tasks for ICT infrastructure. The Uzbekistan government announced the development of a comprehensive national information and communication plan, and decided to increase the speed and quality of transmissions through the renewal of the country's nationwide data communication system.

As part of this, Toyota Tsusho and NEC were selected by Uzbektelecom to provide high-end optical network data communication systems that are capable of multiplexing and transmitting multiple signals of different wavelengths via optical fibre. This is in addition to the provision of a microwave radio communication system as backup for the optical network data communications system, and the provision of a gateway to convert existing analogue signals to IP and other systems.

Tsuyoshi Yamada, general manager of the IT business department at Toyota Tsusho, added: “Toyota Tsusho will play a coordinating role to facilitate the project as the main contractor, thereby contributing to the improvement of the business environment and the quality of life for residents throughout the country.”

As a result of the upgrades, the speed of backbone data networks will be 20 times faster, while minimising the investment cost by using existing optical fibres. It will also help to meet the surging mobile and internet demands of today, contribute to the wider introduction of ICT, and lead to the construction of cloud-based e-government infrastructure that utilises communications infrastructure as the foundation.

This project is funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

The news comes as Russian operator MTS has agreed to pay a fine of $850 million for corrupt practices in its former subsidiary in Uzbekistan.