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Azerbaijan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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

  • Executive summary
    • Table Azerbaijan - key telecom parameters - 2009 - 2010
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Azerbaijan - 2009
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2008
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - 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
    • EurAsiaCom (formerly Terracom Inc/Fire Telecom)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2011
      • Next Generation Network (NGN)
    • International infrastructure
      • Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) cable network
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Table Internet users - 1995 - 2011
      • Table Internet subscribers - 1997 - 2011
      • Table Internet bandwidth capacity - 2001 - 2010
      • Computers for schools
      • Cybercrime
    • ISP market
  • Broadband market
    • Overview
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2011
      • Table Broadband subscribers and household overview - 2009
      • Table DSL broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2009
    • Trans-Eurasian Information Superhighway
    • 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
        • Table Mobile operators by share of total mobile market - September 2009
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Mobile technologies
      • Trunk Mobile Radio (TMR)
      • Third Generation (3G) services
    • Major mobile operators
      • Azercell
        • Table Azercell mobile subscribers and market share - 2005 - 2009
      • Bakcell
      • Azerfon (Nar Mobile)
      • Catel
  • Forecasts
    • Overview
    • Forecasts - fixed-line market - 2010; 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast fixed line subscribers - 2010; 2015; 2020
    • Forecasts - Internet services - 2010; 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast Internet subscribers - 2010; 2015; 2020
    • Forecasts -mobile market - 2010; 2015; 2020
      • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2010; 2015; 2020
    • Notes on forecasting

The Azerbaijan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and 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

Azerbaijan’s ‘economic dynamism’ is driving its telecommunications sector

Coming into 2010 Azerbaijan’s mobile subscriber base was approaching 8 million (90% penetration). Mobile subscriber growth had moderated to a still healthy 20% in 2009, down from almost 50% in 2008. Operator Azercell continues to command a major share of the market (around 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; but the country could still claim a fixed-line penetration of just under 16% by end-2009 and growth was continuing along a modest path in 2010.

In the meantime, the number of Internet users, having increased by 50% in 2009, had reached 3.7 million, while broadband subscriptions increased to 100,000 by end-2009, according to International Telecommunications Union figures; this was up from 15,000 just two years earlier.

On the back of a dynamic economy, Azerbaijan has been making healthy progress in the building of its telecommunications and information technology sectors. In has confronted a number of major problems in the process, 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.

A substantial platform for the ongoing development of Azerbaijan’s telecom sector had been put in place by 2001. By that stage there were four joint-ventures offering telephone services, two mobile operators, and a number of Internet Service Providers in the country. All these ventures, established under the Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies, 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 Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies. A second operator, AzEuroTel, won a licence to provide international communication services as long ago as 1999.

The expansion of the country’s telecom sector has been taking place in the context of a very strong developing economy. Azerbaijan has experienced rapid economic expansion in recent times, recording annual GDP growth levels of up to 30% a few years back. This has seen it rank as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In fact, in Newsweek magazine’s ranking of low income economies by Economic Dynamism published in August 2010, saw Azerbaijan in second place, behind China and ahead of India.

Market highlights:

By early 2010 mobile penetration in Azerbaijan had reached 90%, with mobile subscriber numbers having increased almost fourfold in just over four years;
The country had seen solid overall growth in its mobile subscriber base, running at an annual rate of just below 20% coming into 2009;
With two additional operators, Azerfon and Catel, having joined Azercell and Bakcell in the mobile market in 2007, competition was hotting up with a consequent battle for market share;
Fixed-line penetration in Azerbaijan had reached a healthy 15% by 2009, but further growth was slow;
The country has moved closer to 100% conversion of the fixed network from analogue, with over 90% digital by 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% at the start of 2009, this had jumped to 25% by year end;
Broadband Internet subscriptions were growing strongly, increasing from 15,000 in 2007 to 100,000 in 2009; however, this still only represented a broadband penetration of slightly over 1%;
The country has made good progress in the privatising of state-owned telecom enterprises; however, the critical privatisation of Aztelekom had again been postponed - for some years. Azerbaijan - key telecom parameters - 2009 - 2010
Category20092010 (e)
Fixed-line services:
Total number of subscribers1.40 million1.45 million
Annual growth7%4%
Fixed-line penetration (population)15.8%16.3%
Internet:
Total number of subscribers521,500750,000
Annual growth27%44%
Internet subscriber penetration (population)6%8%
Mobile services:
Total number of subscribers7.7 million8.8 million
Annual growth18%14%
Mobile penetration (population)88%97%
(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;
Infrastructure;
Mobile Market - Voice and Data;
Internet Market, including Broadband.

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