Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend S.Babayeva / Currently the legislative base in communications and information technology of Azerbaijan is in need of modernization, said the Director of Analytic Center for Information Policy, Yashar Hajiyev, who is also Azerbaijan's coordinator for Global Internet Policy Initiative Project.
According to him, improvements should be implemented with regards to legislative acts on electronic signature, electronic document turnover, as well as the Law on Telecommunications which should specify regular activities in this sphere. In addition, modernization of ways of issuing licenses for radio frequencies to render various telecommunication services also plays a significant role.
According to the expert, another problem is the low number of land-line telephones per capita in the country. Currently in the country there are 15 telephones per 100 people.
"From a technical point of view, everything is normal with mobile communications, but fixed telephone lines are not so encouraging. In regard to this, we can not keep pace with Georgia and Armenia," Hajiyev said. A good indicator is more than 20 land-line telephones per 100 people.
Touching upon communication tariffs, Hajiyev called the problem of high prices for mobile communications and internet access in Azerbaijan compared to other countries. Decreasing the prices may significantly assist in developing competition in the market.
Hajiyev said that currently 5500 websites function in Azerbaijan. Irrespective of the growth in the market, he considers that this indicator in unsatisfactory for a country with more than 8mln people. In this regard, Azerbaijan is not on a par with Russia and Ukraine. He considers that this figure should equal 500 web-sites per capita.
Moreover, improving the qualifications of IT staff and providing higher educational institutions with the necessary equipment is also of great significance. "It is not necessary to establish a new university, but adequately ensuring material and technical basis in existing institutions," the Director of the Center said.
However, the expert highly assesses the growth in this sector. Nearly 500 IT companies currently function in Azerbaijan, an increase of 12%-16% compared to 2006. The number of IT companies includes both national companies and partner representatives of large international IT companies in Azerbaijan. The ICT is widely used in all directions. The E-Government Program is being actively carried out and the State ICT Development Program 'Electronic Azerbaijan' is being realized.