IT sector in Azerbaijan (January-November 2012)

Analysis Materials 15 January 2013 11:52 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan's IT market has been experiencing dynamic growth since early 2012. According to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, the volume of information and communication services rendered to organizations and people in January-November totaled 1.3 billion manat.

The growth rate of this sector for the last period at comparable prices was 16.8 percent.

Around 72.1 percent of the total volume of services in the field of information and communication services fell to the rendered services.

Around 59.7 percent of the total amount of revenues fell to the mobile services, which is 13.5 percent more compared to the same period of 2011. In total, the volume of revenues obtained from mobile services, hit 764.9 million manat.

Today, three GSM-operators: Bakcell, Azercell, Azerfon operate in Azerbaijan. The number of mobile telephony users has not been changed. It is at the level of indices as of early 2012. Around 110 mobile phones fall to 100 people.

Although, according to the statistics, the volume of traffic consumed in the public telephone network in Azerbaijan is being reduced by 30-35 percent monthly, numbering capacity of the telephone network of the "Baku Telephone Communications" production association under the Azerbaijani Communications and IT increased by more than 4,800 units.

At present, the general capacity in the operator's network reaches 800,000 numbers. All automatic telephone exchanges of the operator were transferred into electronic form. Over 60 percent of them are working on the basis of Next Generation Network (NGN).

The operator has also increased the number of ports of broadband ADSL by 7,000 units. The ports have been involved in the operator's telecommunications nodes on Baku and settlements of the capital.

Today, the number of ports of the broadband Internet through "Baku Telephone Communication" network, taken into account the ports of the private service providers, exceeds 250,000 units. The number of ports in the network of state Internet provider BakinterNet reaches 90,000 units. Over 170,000 units of the total number of ports are active.

Aztelekom production association under the Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry expands Next Generation Network (NGN) on the Apsheron Peninsula and in the villages of Gusar and Goranboy regions (174 and 327 km from Baku, respectively). New telephone stations were commissioned on December 6. Rural stations will be connected to the central telecommunications nodes via optical communication lines, which will improve the quality of communication services and Internet, rendered by the operator to the end user.

The operations are underway to transfer Masalli telecommunication node to next generation networks. According to Aztelekom's forecasts, coverage of telecommunication nodes by NGN technology will reach 24 percent. The operator's NGN network covered telecommunication nodes of the Absheron peninsula, Sumgait, Ganja, Gokchay, Salyan, Shamakhi and Kurdamir.

The transition to NGN network is one of the priorities. The operator intends to stimulate the growth segment of new services in the long term prospect. Transferring the telephone networks to NGN technology will allow the operator to increase the numbering capacity of the telephone network and to render IP-telephony, broadband Internet and IP-TV along with traditional communication services.

Aztelekom production association has laid around 2,000 kilometers of fiber-optic communication lines in Azerbaijan for its broadband internet project.

More than 500 kilometers of cable were laid with the assistance of commercial providers.

At present, the work on laying optical infrastructure is carried out in almost all regions of the country. Extending optical infrastructure will increase the number of broadband internet users.

At present, the number of broadband connections in the Aztelekom network reaches 102,000, while at the beginning of this year the figure stood at about 25,000.

Aztelekom has developed the next stage (2013-2015) of the project, during which optic fiber will be brought to the end user.

"Teleradio" Production Association under the Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry completed installing additional equipment of digital TV DVB-T at the stations located in the Khachmaz, Gusar and Tovuz regions in January-November 2012.

The production association installed and commissioned a FM-radio transmitter on frequency 89,3 MHz in Lerik region. The operations are underway within expanding the coverage zone of digital television. At present, the signal covered around 90 percent of the Azerbaijani population. A social package, consisting of 12 television channels, is available to the public.

At present, digital TV signals do not cover mountainous areas where the population is sparse. These areas have analogue broadcasting, but will be gradually covered by a digital TV signal.

Analogue broadcasting will be discontinued after the country fully moves over to digital broadcasting. According to the ministry's work plan, this will take place in 2013.

The digital content is broadcast in the MPEG-4 format. Subscribers must purchase a decoder prior to receiving digital broadcasting.

The construction of Europe Persia Express Gateway fiber-optic cable line (EPEG) has been fully completed during this period.

A decision was made to begin testing the cable line within the recent meeting of members of the consortium in Iran.

EPEG participants are Iranian Telecommunication Infrastructure Company (TIC), Omani Omantel, Russian Rostelecom and international Cable & Wireless (C & W).

EPEG cable route, connecting Oman and Frankfurt, passes through three countries (Azerbaijan, Poland, and Ukraine).

EPEG's Azerbaijani segment is under testing. Network infrastructure and infrastructure, of international connections were installed within the Azerbaijani segment construction operations.