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Azerbaijan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

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.

Executive summary

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

Category20082009 (e)
Fixed-line services:
Total number of subscribers1.3 million1.4 million
Annual growth5%7%
Fixed-line penetration (population)15.0%15.3%
Total number of subscribers410,000600,000
Annual growth89%46%
Internet subscriber penetration (population)5%7%
Mobile services:
Total number of subscribers5.7 million6.9 million
Annual growth24%21%
Mobile penetration (population)66%78%

(Source: BuddeComm)
This report provides an overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications markets in Azerbaijan. Subjects covered include:

Key Statistics;
Market and Industry Overviews;
Major Operators (Mobile and Fixed);
Regulatory Environment;
Mobile Market - Voice and Data;
Internet Market, including Broadband.

  • Executive summary
    • Key highlights:
      • Table Azerbaijan - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Azerbaijan - 2009
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2008
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2008
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2008
    • Table Mobile statistics - September 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Azerbaijan's telecom market
  • Regulatory environment
    • Overview
      • Privatisation plans
      • National Communication Technologies Strategy
  • Fixed network operators in Azerbaijan
    • Aztelekom
    • AzEuroTel
    • Terracom Inc (Fire Telecom) - EurAsiaCom
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2010
    • International infrastructure
      • Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) cable network
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Internet users - 1995 - 2011
        • Table Internet subscribers - 1997 - 2011
        • Table Internet bandwidth capacity - 2001 - 2009
      • Computers for schools
    • ISP market
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2009
    • WiMAX
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Azerbaijan's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers - 1994 - 2011
        • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - September 2009
    • Mobile technologies
      • Trunk Mobile Radio (TMR)
    • Major mobile operators
      • Azercell
      • Bakcell
      • Azerfon (Nar Mobile)
      • Catel
  • Forecasts
    • Overview
    • Forecasts - fixed-line market - 2013; 2018
      • Table Forecast fixed line subscribers - 2007 - 2008; 2013; 2018
    • Forecasts - Internet services 2013; 2018
      • Table Forecast Internet subscribers - 2007 - 2008; 2013; 2018
    • Forecasts -mobile market - 2013; 2018
      • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2008; 2013; 2018
    • Notes on forecasting

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