Mobile communication changes to eliminate lack of Azerbaijan's resources
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 2 / Trend, H. Veliyev /
Allocation of frequency resources of 790 and 860 MHz for mobile communication needs will eliminate the lack of frequency resources and accelerate the deployment of third generation (3G) mobile communication, Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry's State Radio Frequencies Department said.
This issue was repeatedly raised at joint meetings of the Regional Commonwealth of Communications (RCC) on the regulation of use of radio spectrum and electromagnetic compatibility of radio-electronic equipment.
Azerbaijan supports the proposal to allocate frequency resources for the needs of the standard UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System).
At present, the frequency range of 790 and 860 MHz is used in analog broadcasting. Frequencies can be released when moving from analog to digital television, after which they can be used for the needs of GSM-operators.
In some RCC member countries, they are also used in civil aviation. It is expected that a final decision on this matter will be decided within the World Radio Communication Conference of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2012.
According to the State Radio Frequencies Department, availability of a single channel at 5 MHz will be enough for operators to deploy a third generation mobile network. At present, only one operator in Azerbaijan - Azerfon - uses three channels with a 5 MHz band.
The bandwidth of each channel of other GSM-operators is 200 kHz, which is 25 times less than the existing 3G network bandwidth.
The state collects 1,000 manat annually from operators to rent one channel and 480 manat for the support of each base station.
The cost of frequency resources ownership is incommensurably low in Azerbaijan in comparison to other countries. For example, in Georgia, the cost of the channel bandwidth at 10 MHz (which is issued through an auction) costs $20 million.
In Turkey, besides the fact that the operator pays $30 million to rent each channel, he is also obligated to pay $12 per subscriber and for the support of base stations.
According to the State Department, given such mild terms and low cost on the Azerbaijani mobile communication market, operators have all the necessary opportunities to further reduce tariffs on their services, which remain high in comparison to the tariffs of regional operators.