Azerbaijan, Baku, May 10 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova/
The action plan on the development of the broadband internet in Azerbaijan meets the requirement of the Telecommunication Union (ITU), Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and IT Ali Abbasov said in an interview with The business year journal.
"We have developed action plan that complies with the International Telecommunication Union's vision and aims to gradually expand broadband internet infrastructure over the 2012-2015 period," he said.
Broadband has recently become more affordable since the Ministry has worked closely with the relevant agencies to adjust the pricing, the Minister added.
He stressed that the Ministry initiated the AzDataKom network to expand broadband service access of at least 10 Gbps to all Azerbaijani regions.
"In addition, the wholesale distributors Delta Telecom and Azertelecom have significantly contributed to increasing internet bandwidth," Abbasov said.
Over the last decade, $3 billion has been invested in the sector and 25 percent of this amount has come from foreign investors over the last seven years, he added.
According to the Minister, this investment has played an important role in the modernization of telecoms infrastructure, particularly mobile communications, and the development of advanced technology.
Concerning the Azerspace satellite, Abbasov said that it is aimed at upgrading the quality of TV broadcasting and telecommunications not only in Azerbaijan but throughout Eurasia, and will turn Azerbaijan into becoming a major relay site for signal transmissions between Europe and Asia.
"We are going to use only one-fourth of its capacity, while the rest will be available for lease," he said.
He stressed that Azercosmos, the government-owned national satellite operator, plans to launch the second satellite in 2015, which will further expand Azerbaijan's satellite communications capacity.
The company also plans to launch a remote sensing satellite into low Earth orbit, which will enhance and accelerate Azerbaijan's capacity in the areas of environmental protection, agriculture, topography, and national security, the Minister added.
As for mobile communication, the Ministry recommended mobile operators to complete all the procedures regarding mobile number portability by 2013, Abbasov mentioned.
"We have studied the impact of the legislative framework of mobile number portability in various countries, and we have carried out analyses in that regard. At present, a special legislative norm has been drafted by the Ministry and sent to the mobile operators for their consideration," he said.
The Minister believes that the new framework will have a positive effect on the market, creating fair and healthy competition between operators, and attract new investments.
It should also increase the number, reliability, and quality of mobile services, he added.
The Minister said the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is a superb opportunity for Azerbaijan in terms of promotion in many fields.
"However, it also carries responsibilities and challenges, and in this regard we have developed an action plan to provide high-quality telecommunications, internet, and television services," he added.
Abbasov believes that the work has already begun in terms of software, web, and content development, as well as online security.
"At the same time, we have to make sure that the availability of telecommunications services, mobile infrastructure, and 3G and Wi-Fi services can cope with bandwidth demand, having said that, we firmly believe that the infrastructure in place will guarantee the success of the event from a technological point of view," the Minister added.