Minister: Azerbaijan's ICT revenue to reach $8.5 billion by 2020

Azerbaijan Materials 23 December 2013 20:24 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 23

By Emil Ismayilov, Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

Income will amount to $8-8.5 billion in the Azerbaijani sector of information and communication technologies by 2020, or approximately 10 per cent of the country's GDP, Azerbaijani Communications and Information Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov said at the conference 'Azerbaijan 2013-2018. For the new goals' organised by the ruling New Azerbaijan party today.

"The public investment volume in the country's ICT sector by 2020 is expected to hit $3-3.5 billion," he said. "The same amount of investment is expected to be obtained from the private sector."

The minister also spoke about the broadband Internet development project in Azerbaijan, 'Optics in the house' programme which will start in early 2014. The project will initially cover 2014-2016.

"Successful implementation of the project will increase the penetration rate of broadband Internet in the country by 85 per cent," Abbasov said.

At the initial stage it is planned to allocate 103 million manat from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan for its implementation.

The cost of the 'Fibre to the Home' project is estimated at more than 450 million manat. The project is considered highly profitable. Some 30-35 per cent of its total cost will be funded through reinvestment starting from the second year of implementation.

According to the ministry's plans, all areas in Azerbaijan will be provided with high-speed Internet by 2017.

The ultimate aim is to provide the entire country including remote rural areas with high-speed Internet in a range of 10-100 Mbit / s and to bring the number of broadband Internet users up to 85 per cent. This will allow Azerbaijan to reach the level of the world's developed countries by 2017.

Currently, some 70 per cent of the population uses the Internet in Azerbaijan. The level of broadband Internet penetration among the population is 50 per cent.

The official exchange rate is 0.7845 AZN/USD on Dec. 23.

Translated by NH
Edited by SM