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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Romania To Join Phone Net

BUCHAREST -- Romania will connect its telephone network to a submarine cable linking Bulgaria and Turkey this year in a $29 million project financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The project is part of a government-sponsored plan to upgrade Romania's telephone network and bring the country's communications up to Western standards.

"We are in an advanced stage with the preparations to start work on the project," Mircea Tulbure, development manager at Romania's phone operator Rom Telecom RA, said last week.

Under the plan, a terminal of Romania's telephone network in Mangalia, on the Black Sea coast, would be connected to a submarine fiber-optic cable linking Bulgaria to Turkey.

"We expect the whole operation to be completed within two months," Tulbure said, adding that Romania's contribution to the project amounted to $11 million.

The money came from the EBRD, Tulbure said, adding that the total cost of the project involving the three Balkan countries amounted to $29 million.

"Turkey has become a very important transit center for communications between Europe and the countries in the Middle East and our interest is to connect our system to such a center," Tulbure said.

He said Rom Telecom planned to install some 4,700 kilometers of optic-fiber cable across the country.