Azerbaijan considering two options for communication enterprises` privatization

Azerbaijan Materials 20 February 2014 17:59 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.20

By Huseyn Valiyev -Trend:

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies is considering two options for the privatization of Aztelekom and Baku Telephone Communications production associations (PA), a source at telecommunications market of Azerbaijan told Trend on Feb.19.

The first option provides a direct sale of state assets, and the second - the provisional capitalization of assets of these enterprises and their association with subsequent denationalization, the source said.

" The second option is most acceptable, because the state never directly sells large companies. Therefore, it is assumed that these communications companies will be merged, and additional investments will be made on their development. And only then will they be put up for privatization as a single enterprise. Privatization of "Kapital Bank" can be an example, which previously held capitalization, then the state's share in it was cut. The bank began to function independently, and only then the government sold its remaining stake in its authorized capital ," the source said.

The issue of restructuring communication entreprises does not lose its topicality, the expert said.

"At present, the policy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on the privatization of its departments is not clear, and further steps by the ministry will be to define strategy on this issue."

Inventory of "Aztelekom" and "Baku Telephone Communications" PA is held annually. These companies have large assets, and this is due to the fact that they possess the most branched telecommunications infrastructure in the country, and practically all transmission equipment is under their maintenance.

"The question also remains open whether the government is ready to share this infrastructure and transmission technologies, or not," the expert said.

Aztelekom PA of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was established in 1992. The Association provides the whole country, except for Baku and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, with phone, as well as international and intercity links. The Production Association, along with 57 telecommunications companies in its control combines the International automatic telephone station (IATS) and the technical node of the cable line.

Baku Telephone Communications PA has been operating since 1997. The PA created the first public ISP - Bakinternet on May 10, 2001.

At present, Baku Telephone Communications PA was established on modern NGN technology.

The company provides phone services of all kinds, as well as video telephony, Internet, data transmission, NGN, IP-TV, multimedia services, CDMA, etc., to the Baku population, organizations and businesses located within the precincts of the capital.

Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N