In the running year’s six months, freight and passenger services rendered in the transport-communications sector of Turkmenistan totaled 2 billion 336 million manats. This clearly reflects growth targets in the context of building a highly efficient transport system aimed to meet the demand for the services, enhance their safety and quality, create investment opportunities, and raise competitive advantage of local freight and passenger carriers in the home and foreign transport services market.
Active integration of Turkmenistan with its abundant resources into the international transport system is today’s central aim. The country’s potential in transit logistics is particularly impressive given the fact that the longest section of the North-South Transport Corridor – the transnational Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway runs through Turkmenistan, as well as the recently opened modern railway and highway bridges over the Amudarya River, the Atamyrat-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan)-Aqina (Afghanistan) railway, which is the first phase of the Asian International Railway Corridor).
The international Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan corridor, linking the three states’ communications systems, will enable to enjoy a severalfold increase in trade turnover between the countries and other states in the Eurasian area.
Turkmenistan is making continuing efforts to rapidly develop its transport infrastructure and connect the national and international networks in the southern and eastern directions. This will offer access to major economic centers such as China, India, Pakistan, and other countries of the Asia-Pacific Region. The country is also taking vigorous actions to improve its road-transport infrastructure. A notable example is ongoing large-scale road building and renovation projects.
The transport sector’s facilities are being upgraded; sectoral enterprises are taking advantage of innovative technologies. Today, the sector boasts modern vehicles from world’s leading manufacturers – “Hyundai Universe Luxury”, “Hyundai Universe Noble”, “Hyundai Super Aero City”, “Iran Khodro”, Yutong ZK 6129H”, “PAZ-32054”. New transport routes are being created in the country. Over 1,000 new vehicles, such as motor cars, minibuses, medium- and large-capacity buses, including the ones adapted to give access to physically disabled people, will be in use during the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
Turkmenistan also seeks to develop maritime passenger and goods services as an essential condition for full integration of Central Asian and Caspian Sea littoral countries into the global economic system. Today, the Turkmenbashi international seaport functions as the region’s largest transit hub. A new port will be built on the Caspian Sea coast in the years ahead to best fit and justify the city’s high status not only as the maritime gateway of our country but also of Central Asia.
In recent years, the terminal’s freight traffic has increased dramatically; when in operation, the new international port will be able to handle much greater volumes of goods. During the six-month period, the port’s target plan for freight services was 181 percent executed; growth rates of passenger services stood at 128 percent.
New technologies are being employed to upgrade air navigation infrastructure and improve air services. A vivid example is the state-of-the-art Ashgabat International Airport, meant to become Turkmenistan’s main air gateway, top transit destination on continental and intercontinental air routes.
Turkmenhovayollary State National Service’s fleet comprises the last-generation aircrafts and helicopters from world’s leading manufacturers. Since the start of the year, two Boeing-737-800 airplanes have arrived in our country so far.
The development of the national telecommunications system, which meets international standards and ensures broadcasting quality, effectively contributes to the country’s official recognition as a key element of the information-communications bridge in Central Asia between the East and the West, the North and the South.
The country boasts a well-maintained and extensive communications, digital television and radio broadcasting system. A well-developed telephone network provides high-speed channels to get access to broadband Internet and data transmission. The subscriber network of Altyn Asyr, the national cellular operator, is expanding quickly. The provider operates under the name TMCELL and offers 2G GPRS, 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE cellular and mobile Internet services.
The launch of the first national satellite has opened up great opportunities for building a telecommunications system in line with world standards. The launch of the second satellite in low orbit, training of field-related specialists, and obtaining of international certificates are the key long-term objectives.
Today, the field of communications and telecommunications is one of the national economy’s fast-growing sectors. In January-June of 2017, the rate of works accomplished by the Ministry of Communications reached 102 percent. 226,000 telephone points, including 211 cellular and 15,000 fixed-line telephone points were provided in the country. The Ministry’s plan was 186 percent fulfilled. As part of the National Rural Development Program, telephone stations (with the capacity of 75, 184 numbers) were installed, and 1,969 kilometers of telecommunications networks were built in the period under review.
Two long-distance fiber-optic systems are currently in operation in Turkmenistan: a circular communications system – Ashgabat-Mary-Turkmenabat-Dashoguz-Ashgabat and a radial communications system – Garabogaz-Turkmenbashi-Ashgabat-Mary-Turkmenabat-Atamyrat-Ymamnazar, which are linked to foreign networks. The systems incorporate DWDM technology, a multiplexing fiber-optic network, to ensure transmission of international transit and local streams.
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