Azerbaijani IT sector (January 2014)

The Azerbaijani information and communication technology sector (ICT) is one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the national economy due to the profitability and total profitability of this business. Despite the main catalyst for the growth of Azerbaijan's economy is the oil and gas sector, the ICT sector also increases its capacity every year.

According to the State Statistics Committee, the organisations and people of Azerbaijan were provided with information and communication services worth 121.8 million manat in January 2014, which is 12.7 percent more than in the same period of 2013.

Some 72.3 percent of the total volume of information and communication services accounted for services rendered to the population.

Around 58.4 percent of the total amount of revenues fell to the mobile services.

The total amount of revenues from mobile services in the country amounted to 71.1 million manat or by 6.2 percent more than in the same period of 2013.

The tariffs for telecommunication services, international and long distance calls and use of the fax machine have been reduced since January 1, 2014 upon a decision of the Azerbaijani Tariff Council.

The tariff for connecting a telephone reduced from 40-120 manat to 30 manat. The tariff for international calls, regardless of the zone, is set at 0.32 manat per minute (earlier one minute, depending on the area, cost 0.36, 0.45 and 0.54 manat respectively).

The price per minute for long distance calls reduced from 0.07 manat to 0.05 manat. The tariff for using a fax machine will hit 0.5 manat compared to 0.8 manat. The cost of using 107 service in villages remained at 0.05 manat , while it reduced twice - to 0.10 manat in towns and regional centers upon a decision of the Tariff Council.

The fees for the telephone transfer from one name to other, providing the information for made international and long distance calls, a phone service once a month and choosing a telephone number were cancelled upon a decision of the Tariff Council.

A monthly fee for the population's telephone use will hit 2.50 manat (previously - two manat). A new tariff is set at seven manat for budgetary and extra-budgetary organizations. Earlier, this tariff for budget organizations was three manat, while for other categories of subscribers - seven manat.

Baku Telephone Communication production association under the Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry plans to transfer some telephone exchanges to Next Generation Network technology (NGN). The operator's plans includes the reconstruction of 477/478 , 428/429 and 432 telephone exchanges by the end of the year.

The stations are electronic and are based on DMS outdated technology.

The operator's future plans also include the phased reconstruction of the telephone exchanges based on S12 technology, which will be also transferred to the next generation network. Currently, the telephone exchange share in the country, created on the NGN base, reaches 70 percent.

The reconstruction of some telephone exchanges will help increase the numbering capacity of the telephone network and render IP-telephony services, broadband Internet and IP-TV along with traditional communication services. The transition to NGN network is one of the priorities. The operator intends to stimulate the growth of new service segment in the long term. Currently, the total capacity in the operator's network exceeds 800,000 numbers.

Internet

A penetration rate of fixed broadband Internet in Baku reached 85 percent. As of 2013, the Internet penetration growth rate in the capital was 70 percent. As of January 1, 2014, the total number of connections given the ports of the private service providers reached 260,000 units. Some 160,000 of them fall to the users of BakinterNet state provider. As of early 2013, the figure was 250,000 and 90,000 respectively.

The number of broadband ADSL ports in the state operator's network increased by 70.7 percent. The ports were used in the operator's telecommunications nodes in Baku and settlements of the capital.

Furthermore, a project of developing an optical access to the Internet was prepared and submitted to the Communications and IT Ministry for consideration. The matter rests in the opportunity of providing end users with an access to the Internet via fiber optic lines by using Fiber to the Home technology (FTTH).

FTTH technology envisages an abundance of capacity. The data transmission speed is measured by the tens of megabits that can be distributed among home users. If a home user receives from two to eight megabit while using ADSL (the quality depends on the condition of the telephone line and the distance to the telephone exchange), the access speed in FTTH technology will vary from 10 to 100 megabits per second.

е-signature

The total number of the Asan İmza mobile e-signature certificates issued in Azerbaijan in January increased by 2.4 percent.

Asan Certification Services Centre issued 22,974 certificates, with 11,947 mobile e-signatures were issued to legal entities, 10,962 e-signatures to physical entities, whereas 65 e-signatures accounted for civil servants.

On April 9, the Asan Certification Services Centre obtained accreditation from the Azerbaijani Communications and Information Technologies Ministry and is authorized to issue advanced certificates of enhanced electronic signature to the public and local self-governance bodies, legal and physical entities.

Asan Certification Service Centre, created upon Azerbaijani Taxes Minister's decree, issues certificates for authentication and digital signature for mobile SIM-cards (Asan İmza) and renders other services envisaging the use of certificates and legally binding digital signatures by state bodies, the private sector and citizens.

The platform of the Asan İmza mobile signature center is integrated with the platform of Azerbaijani mobile operators, namely Azercell Telecom LLC and Bakcell LLC. It is necessary to change SIM-card to use the mobile digital signatures. Integration with platform of the mobile operator Azerfon (which owns NarMobile trademark) is nearing completion.

The number of users of ASAN Imza mobile digital signature in Azerbaijan exceeded 23,000 people.

Foreign partners showed an interest in Azerbaijan's experience. There are some appeals from Europe, Georgia and Kazakhstan. As it is known, ASAN Imza will be presented at the European Parliament soon. An electronic signature corresponds to all European requirements for quality and safety. ASAN Imza will be recognized by other countries in the future. This will be beneficial to entrepreneurs. Azerbaijan is one of the few countries issuing such a signature. ASAN Imza will be presented as an original Azerbaijani product in Brussels.

E-commerce

According to the State Statistics Committee, e-commerce turnover increased by 1.7 times and reached 242,300 manat in January 2014. Some 91.9 percent of e-commerce accounted for non-food items.

However, e-commerce hits only 0.0145 percent of domestic trade turnover, which increased by 9.3 percent and amounted to 1.665.9 billion manat in January. The domestic trade turnover on food was 900.3 million manat, while on non-food items - 765.6 million manat.

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