Four Russian operators have announced they will jointly fund a new 2,000km submarine fibre-optic cable on the country’s eastern seaboard.
MTS, VimpelCom, MegaFon and Rostelecom will contribute equally to the €60 million project, which joins the mainland towns of Magadan and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with Sakhalin Island.
"Joining forces will allow participating companies to significantly reduce construction time of the underwater cable, decrease capital and operational expenses, which are substantial given the location and environmental conditions,” said Rostelecom president Alexander Provotorov.
Laying of the cable, which is due to provide capacity of 8Tbps, will begin later this year and is due to end in 2014.
"The growth of fixed and mobile traffic in the Far East dictates the need for active development of infrastructure in the region,” commented Andrei Dubovskov, MTS President and CEO.
The area is extremely sparsely populated but is one of Russia’s major oil and gas producing regions.
"We have set forth an objective of tackling the shortage of modern communications services for households, corporates, and public sector,” said Ivan Tavrin, CEO of MegaFon.