TODAY.AZ / Business

New operator may lead to tariff changes

03 September 2014 [12:25] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Nakhtel will officially apply to the Communications and High Technologies Ministry of Azerbaijan
for a license for the deployment of mobile services throughout Azerbaijan in the near future, the spokesman for the Ministry of Communications and High Tech of the NAR.

Claiming to be the fourth GSM operator in Azerbaijan, Nakhtel currently provides wireless communication services in CDMA standard by using the 800-900 MHz frequency band.

"The company has prepared a draft network of 4G deployment, which will initially be available on the territory of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The next stage will be the fourth generation network coverage throughout the territory of Azerbaijan. Like other mobile operators in the country, Nakhtel will provide communication services based on GSM standard," Farid Hajiyev stressed.

The commercial deployment of the network operator is planned to be held at the end of this year, but the date may be postponed till the beginning of 2015.

Commenting on Nakhtel's plans for the construction of their own base stations, he said the first phase will involve the provision of telecommunications services and the Internet over the base stations of Bakcell, Azercell, and Azerfon mobile operators. This issue will be coordinated with the assistance of the Ministry of Communications and High Tech of Azerbaijan.

"The company plans to construct and expand its own base stations network," Hajiyev added.

Economic expert Gubad Ibadoglu says that a new operator could boost the rivalry on the market to achieve high quality service.

"There is a big growth potential, as mobile operator market is very dynamic. The number of population is increasing, services of mobile phones are expanding, people cannot imagine their life without it and a new mobile operator may help to use this potential more effectively," he said.

Talking about the high prices on the mobile communication market in Azerbaijan, Ibadoglu noted that there is an oligopoly (imperfect competition), what is typical not only for Azerbaijan. The local market needs healthy rivalry to develop.

"Certain companies have reached bilateral agreement to keep definite tariffs," he said. "Another reason of high prices is linked with a desire to earn more profit. Use of new technologies and appearance of new communication systems in fact cut expenses, which is expected also to affect the prices. Unfortunately, we cannot feel it," Ibadoglu stressed.

Regarding himself as a consumer dissatisfied with high mobile tariffs, Ibadolgu noted that prices are lower in such countries as Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Russia as compared Azerbaijan.

Answering the question weather the fourth mobile operator could drive cut in tariffs or not, he said it is difficult to predict.

"Certainly, it depends on the capabilities and service quality. New operator may change tariffs if succeeds to create healthy rivalry on the market," Ibadoglu added.

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