The Azerbaijan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.
Coming into 2009 there were around 6 million mobile subscribers (70% penetration) in Azerbaijan, with Azercell continuing to command a majority share of the market (almost 60%), but this dominance was being slowly eroded. Although the fixed network provides good national coverage, there was little sign of a growth surge in this market; fixed-line penetration edged up past 15% by end-2008. At the same time Internet users in the country reportedly numbered 1.5 million, while broadband subscriptions increased fourfold in 2008, according to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) figures.
On the back of a strong economy, Azerbaijan has been making healthy progress in the building its telecommunications and information technology sectors. In doing so it has had to confront a number of major problems including:
poor telecom infrastructure inherited from the past;
low public awareness and understanding of computer technology;
the high cost of computer equipment in comparison to the average salary;
very high tariffs for satellite connections due to a monopoly held by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies (MCIT).By 2001 there were four joint ventures offering telephone services, two mobile operators, and a number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in the country. All these ventures, established under the MCIT, were providing a range of basic telephone services, including mobile services. Prices varied considerably depending on the different cost of services offered to these companies by the ministry.
Government-owned Aztelekom has been the country’s main telecom service provider, being directly controlled by the MCIT. A second operator, AzEuroTel, won a licence to provide international communication services in August 1999.
In June 2006, in a move that suggested a widening interest in the Azerbaijan telecom sector, a small UK-based company, Polton Vencars, announced plans to develop telecommunications services in Azerbaijan. It intended to invest US$4 million in Bakinsky Telegraph, a company it had earlier acquired at auction, over a four year period to develop 3G mobile services using Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, as well as dial-up and broadband Internet access services. It also hoped to add triple play services (TV, Internet and fixed-line) to its portfolio. Polton Vencars had acquired an 89.8% stake in Bakinsky Telegraph.
By early 2009 mobile penetration in Azerbaijan had reached 70%, with mobile subscriber numbers having increased fourfold in just over four years;
The country had seen solid overall growth in its mobile subscriber base, running at an annual rate of about 23% coming into 2009;
With two new mobile operators, Azerfon and Catel, having entered the market, competition was hotting up and the battle was on for market share;
Fixed-line penetration in Azerbaijan had reached a healthy 15% by early 2009, but further growth was slow;
The country has moved closer to 100% conversion of the fixed network from analogue, with 90% digital by early 2009, up from just 48% in 2003;
All the signs suggest strong growth in Azerbaijan’s Internet usage, with user penetration reported at more than 17% coming into 2009;
Significantly, broadband Internet subscriptions had increased fourfold in 2008; the 60,000 broadband subscribers by year-end, however, represented a broadband penetration of only 0.7%;
The country has made good progress in the privatising of state-owned telecom enterprises; however, in 2008 the critical privatisation of Aztelekom was again postponed - for some years.Azerbaijan - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
Total number of subscribers1.3 million1.4 million
Fixed-line penetration (population)15.0%15.3%
Total number of subscribers410,000600,000
Internet subscriber penetration (population)5%7%
Total number of subscribers5.7 million6.9 million
Mobile penetration (population)66%78%
This report provides an overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications markets in Azerbaijan. Subjects covered include:
Market and Industry Overviews;
Major Operators (Mobile and Fixed);
Mobile Market - Voice and Data;
Internet Market, including Broadband.