Azerbaijani IT sector (Jan-Sept. 2014)

The Azerbaijani information and communication technology sector (ICT) is one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the national economy due its profitability and total profitability of this business. Although 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.

Azerbaijan's ICT sector has doubled for the past five years. An average annual growth of information technologies was 17 percent.

The ICT sector volume is planned to be increased by 4-4.5 times for the next 10 years to implement the measures envisaged in the "Azerbaijan 2020: Look into the future" concept.

Information and communication services worth 1.140 billion AZN were rendered for Azerbaijan's population and organizations in January-September 2014 or 12.6 percent more than in the same period of 2013, the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee's report says.

Some 72.6 percent of a total volume of information and communication services were rendered to the population, while 58.8 percent of a total volume of obtained income accounted for mobile services.

A total volume of revenues obtained from mobile services in Azerbaijan hit 671.1 million AZN in January-September, which is 7.3 percent more than in the same period of 2013.

The role of Azerbaijani mobile operators - "Azercell", "Bakcell" and "Azerfon" is significant in the development of the ICT sector. As a result of their work, a mobile communication segment expanded. The number of mobile subscribers per 100 people reached 110.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and High Technologies has issued a license to CDMA operator of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic - Nakhtel to use frequencies for LTE (Long Term Evolution) network deployment.

Mobile communication network covers virtually the entire territory of the country (except the occupied territories).

3G services are deployed not only at all the stations of Baku Metro, but also in the tunnels. Azerfon (Nar Mobile) has started using 3G network since December 2009. Among three mobile operators operating in Azerbaijan, it was the first to obtain a license for this service.

But Azercell mobile operator has commissioned a high-speed 4G network based on LTE technology since May 2012.

e-signature

The number of e-digital signatures, issued by the Azerbaijani National Certification Center, increased by 6.7 percent in September 2014 and hit 24,386 e-digital signatures as of October 1, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communication and High Technologies said.

Some 15,310 units of the total number of issued e-digital signatures were issued to state agencies, 3,583 were issued to legal entities and 5,493 to citizens.

Some 291 services of the total number of approved e-services (446 units) are available on the e-government portal.

The e-digital signature is a sequence of symbols created through the transformation of the original document by special software. When forwarding a digital signature is added to the original document. As a result, the authorship and the invariability of the information, contained in the document, are confirmed. While making any changes to the original document, e-signature becomes invalid.

After obtaining a digital signature, one can be confident in the authorship and the content of the documents exchanged by the organization through the Internet. It is impossible to forge e-signature. The document signed by a digital signature and the document, signed by hand, are equivalent.

e-commerce

The e-commerce market volume amounted to 4.4 million AZN in Azerbaijan in January-September 2014, the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee said.

The total volume of retail e-commerce in Azerbaijan increased 2.4 times compared to the same period of 2013.

E-commerce market participants are legal and physical entities engaged in e-commerce and buyers of goods and services.

Some 91.2 percent of goods purchased in electronic form by the population of Azerbaijan during reporting period accounted for legal entities and 8.8 percent - physical entities. Non-food products accounted for 94.9 percent of e-commerce market turnover.

The total retail trade volume amounted to 15.5 billion AZN in Azerbaijan in January-September 2014. The sales of consumer goods in the country increased by 9.4 percent compared to the same period of last year.

About 50.1 percent fell to consumer goods (food, beverages and tobacco), and 49.9 percent AZN - to non-food products. The share of non-food products increased by 3.5 percentage points during the reporting period

PC market

The market share of desktop personal computers decreased by 19.8 percent in Azerbaijan in January-September 2014, Global Stats statistics center said.

The market share of personal computers in Azerbaijan is 56.52 percent. The country's market declined by 28.9 percent compared to the same period of last year, the center says.

As of the first three quarters of 2014, the portable computer market (laptops, netbooks) increased by 48.72 percent. The market share of laptops in Azerbaijan as of early September was 37.91 percent. This segment of the computer market increased by 119.2 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The tablet computers rank third in the ranking with a share of 5.57 percent. The growth of this segment of the market amounted to 38.55 percent in January-September 2014. The segment of tablet devices increased by 67.2 percent compared to the same period of 2013.

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