Jordan Rift Valley- Telecommunications
 Chapter 1 The Jordan Rift Valley
 INTRODUCTION  |  JORDAN  RIFT  VALLEY  |  GULF  OF  AQABA  | SOUTH  EAST  MEDITERRANEAN  | ISRAEL  PROJECTS
 
     
8. Telecommunications
 Jordan Rift Valley- Telecommunications
 
   

A joint Jordanian-Israeli telecommunications Working Group was formed in 1995 to address issues regarding telecommunications development between the two countries. On August 17, 1995 the Jordan Rift Valley Telecom Working Group agreed to conduct a study of the feasibility of deploying high capacity optical fiber systems along the JRV. This study takes into consideration the existing and planned fiber optic systems in both countries, as well as the planned submarine cables in the Red Sea. This study was completed in June 1997 by Booz-Allen & Hamilton of the United States. It concentrates on three major fiber optic projects:

  1. a north/south connection from Amman to Aqaba;
  2. a Red Sea submarine cable;
  3. an East-West Amman to Tel Aviv connection.

Summary Transit Traffic Forecasts, 2000-2010 (No. Circuit Requirements, Realistic Scenario)*

Year:

2000

2005

2010

Amman-Tel Aviv

1,172

1,434

1,769

    Regional traffic

169

215

286

    Interregional traffic

1,003

1,219

1,483

Amman-Aqaba

2,940

3,589

4,400

    Regional traffic

724

897

1,108

    Interregional traffic

2,216

2,692

3,292

Aqaba- Branching Unit

6,973

8,473

10,484

    Regional traffic

701

864

1,100

    Interregional traffic

6,272

7,609

9,384

* This scenario assumes a 7% percent annual growth for Israeli regional traffic.
Source: Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Jordan Rift Valley Telecommunicaions Feasibility Study, June 1997.

The competitive position of the JRV as an international telecommunication corridor was analyzed in the study. This analysis is summarized in the table below. The routes chosen do not reflect actual traffic on specific cable facilities. They are meant to be representative of traffic through Jordan and Israel. Other traffic streams are defined as variations on one or another of these 18 routes. Of the traffic streams analyzed, only Turkey-India has an alternative route with actual high-quality facilities already available or planned a price advantage of more than 25% relative to the JRV.

 
 
 Jordan Rift Valley- Telecommunications
 Jordan Rift Valley- Telecommunications
  8.1. East/West Amman to Tel Aviv International Cable

Since the establishment of a direct telecommunication link between Israel and Jordan in 1994, telephone traffic has grown to over 1 million minutes per month. This proposed link would constitute the first cross-border fiber optic link between Israel and Jordan. It can be used for intra-regional connections as well as international transit traffic. The link can also connect to a submarine cable in the Red Sea via Aqaba.

The Booz-Allen & Hamilton study indicates that this project is feasible under all conditions and that its viability is independent of the other two proposed JRV projects. It is recommended that this project be implemented immediately.

The project consists of constructing a fiber optic transmission system using SDH technology between Tel Aviv and Amman. The high quality of the transmission system can attract regional as well as interregional traffic between Europe and Asia. The cable will cross the border at one of three bridges: King Hussein (near South Shuna), Prince Mohammad (near Mutalath Arda) or Sheikh Hussein (near North Shuna and Beit Shean). Cable capacity will be purchased from the Jordan Telephone Company to reach the closest sites in Jordan to the bridge. From there, new cables will be installed to connect with the Israeli system. For all three routes existing JTC cables will be used. It is estimated project will derive nearly all revenues from regional telephone traffic.

Tentative agreement between the parties for the development of the Sheikh Hussein/Beit Shean alignment has been reached. This alternative takes best advantage of existing infrastructure on the Israeli side of the border and can be completed most expediently.

This alignment runs through northern Jordan to North Shuna (150 km). From there a new cable to the border will be laid to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge. The cable would connect immediately to the Israeli system. Required investment for this alignment on the Jordanian side comes to $1.1 million.