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Number portability, 3G on Azerbaijan's agenda for 2010

25 января 2010

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology set out its plans for 2010 at a meeting on Saturday.

The ministry is working on the introduction of a Mobile Number Portability service (MNP) in Azerbaijan, the minister of communications and information technology, Ali Abbasov, told the meeting.

He said that the relevant standardized documents had been drawn up and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers.

“However, there is one issue outstanding: mobile operators and stationary communication operators have to reach agreement. We will try to implement this service this year,” Abbasov said.

The service aims to ensure the independence of subscribers from mobile communications operators.

The MNP service first came into operation on the South-East Asian telecommunications market in 1997. MNP allows subscribers to keep their telephone number, including codes, if they change telephone operator.

The introduction of the service in Azerbaijan will depend on legislative and supervisory bodies and agreement between mobile phone operators. The introduction of MNP does entail considerable expenditure.


The ministry is planning to privatize state-owned communication enterprises, Ali Abbasov said.

He said that the privatization of joint companies with the exception of some small companies had been been completed in the ICT sector.

A number of enterprises belonging to the Baku Telefon Rabitesi and Aztelecom fixed line operators are scheduled to be privatized in the second round.

3G licences

Azerbaijan’s largest mobile carrier Azercell Telecom may be granted a licence to provide 3G services in the country, the minister told the meeting.

“Azercell is the first candidate to apply for a 3G licence,” he said.

Abbasov said that the spread of 3G services in the country depends on the supply of mobile devices that support 3G on the market.

According to the regulations approved by Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers, in order to get a licence for 3G mobile services, an applicant has to submit a document outlining the stages in which the network will be put into operation, the specifications of network equipment, information about zone coverage and types of services, experience in a 3G experimental zone and a reference showing the availability of the radio frequencies as approved by the State Commission for Radio Frequencies. The licence fee is AZN 11,000 ($13,702).

Lower prices

The ministry said it had moved to improve mobile communications and cut prices.

Minister Ali Abbasov told the meeting that all the country's mobile operators had the opportunity to reduce prices for services offered to the public.

“We changed prices for internetwork communication between the operators and took other measures. The work done allows quality to be improved and prices cut. There are 85 mobile telephones today for every 100 people, which means market saturation,” the minister said.

Profits up

Profits in Azerbaijan's telecommunications sector grew over 15.4% in 2009. Rashad Nabiyev, the ministry’s officer for finance, accounting and economic analysis, said that proceeds from the ICT and postal sector had  increased by 13.6% year-on-year to AZN 1,081.2 million ($1,346.786 million) in 2009.

The growth rate in the ICT sector was 13.7% as a whole, while the telecommunications sector grew 15.4% and the postal sector 5.6%.

As part of the 100 Families - 100 Phones initiative, the number of phones per 100 households reached 64 across the country and 120 for Baku.

“The mobile sector growth rate was 11%. CDMA services (technology used in wireless communications) by public telecommunications operators covered 63% of the population and are used by 25,564 subscribers,” Nabiyev told the meeting.

Источник: News.az

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