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Azerbaijan’s ICT sector jumps by 14 pct

11 January 2014 [09:00] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Azerbaijan's information and communications technology (ICT) sector grew 14 percent in 2013, ICT Minister Ali Abbasov said.

Addressing a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the country's socio-economic developments in 2013 and upcoming tasks for 2014, the minister said the ICT growth in Azerbaijan topped the average world indicator by almost two times.

Total revenues in this sphere exceeded $2 million, he said.

Azerbaijan preserved its leading positions among CIS and Central Asian countries for internet penetration, which was at 70 percent level in 2013.

Moreover, the fixed telephone communication in Azerbaijan is among the leaders in CIS and Central Asia for quality, coverage and price indicators.

Meanwhile, the mobile telephone communication coverage indicators of population and area exceed the average European.

While most countries are still applying second-generation technology, Azerbaijan is applying 3G and introducing the fourth generation mobile communication in Baku and Absheron. In addition, the mobile number portability system has been created, Abbasov said.

"The subscriber network of mobile and stationary broadband internet has risen by 30 percent," he said.

In Azerbaijan, 2013 was also marked with the shift to digital television and radio broadcasting.

"95-98 percent of country's population was covered with digital television broadcast last year. Azerbaijan has taken the place among the developed countries for this indicator," he said.

The results of last year showed 40-45 percent growth in digital content in the AzNET network. Moreover, 50 percent growth of the electronic commerce was also recorded.

The prominent event of the last year, the launch and commercial operation of the first Azerbaijani telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1, brought about $ 10 million income. Currently, the satellite broadcasts over 60 channels.

The postal sector revenues grew 5.5 percent in 2013, he also noted.

Speaking about the future aims, Abbasov said Azerbaijani population will be provided with broadband access to the Internet, including mobile access until the end of 2017.

The ministry's priority goals for the next five years include complete transition to digital broadcasting standard.

Moreover, strengthening export capacity through the production of innovative products and services based on high technology, cyber security, and increase of the number of electronic services will also be important future aims.

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