Telecom providers in eight countries pledge to boost connectivity
Telecom service providers in eight countries of the Eurasian region have jointly committed to create a high-speed communication network to increase connectivity and promote cultural and economic exchanges.
At a forum at the Fifth China-Eurasia Expo on Wednesday, 15 telecom providers from eight countries - including China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran - signed a manifesto aimed at improving connectivity. The expo is being hosted in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, this week.
"We are aiming to push forward the Eurasian region to achieve connectivity ... in network infrastructure and forge a more efficient and open information network," the manifesto said.
The 15 providers will hold a forum every two years - or special work conferences if necessary - to enable normalized communication and cooperation, it said.
Chen Lidong, deputy head of the Information and Communication Services Development at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the signing of the manifesto is also aimed at enabling telecom companies in different countries to develop mutually beneficial relations for people and enterprises in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt.
He added that China wants to help improve the overall level of information communication in the Eurasian region and gradually eliminate the digital divide between countries.
"We are also willing to promote trade and economic exchanges by strengthening network connectivity and developing cross-border e-commerce," he said.
As of June, there were more than 1.3 billion mobile phone subscribers and 850 million mobile broadband users in China. The country also has 280 million subscribers of fixed broadband, according to the ministry.
Chen noted that the country is planning to speed up the development of a new generation of high-speed and safe information infrastructure in the next five years.
Sun Kangmin, deputy general manager of China Telecom, said the company is committed to increasing connectivity in the global internet, and is willing to take the initiative in the building of an information Silk Road joining Europe, Asia and Africa.
"With the help of well-connected infrastructure, we can break the bottleneck of internet access in the Belt and Road Initiative region," he said at the forum.
The company is also looking to expand in the region, and will provide support to China's transfer of production capacity overseas, he said. It will also seek merger and acquisition opportunities in East and Central Europe to boost the scale of its overseas operations.