Minister: Entire Azerbaijan to have internet access by 2024
By Ayya Lmahamad
By 2024, internet access will be available throughout Azerbaijan, Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rovshan Rustamov has said.
He made the remarks at the event "Priorities in the Field of Digital Development and Transportation in Azerbaijan".
"Broadband Internet access is now available in a number of Azerbaijani regions. In addition, work is being done to provide Internet access in areas where it is currently unavailable," he said.
Rustamov said that 40,000 new users have been connected to the internet in the country in the last month.
"It is planned to connect 150,000 households to the Internet this year, and by 2024, the entire country will have access to the network. All of this work will be done as part of a public-private partnership," he stated.
Noting that more than 700 settlements are still without wired broadband internet, he stated that a merger of two state communication operators (Baktelecom and Azetelekom) is planned in the near future to address this issue.
Furthermore, he stated that activities to provide high-speed internet will accelerate Azerbaijan's digital transformation, adding that this will strengthen cyber security, reduce business costs, and public spending.
He emphasized that one of the priorities of the "Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities" development strategy is the development of modern innovations.
The deputy minister also stated that a number of problems in the telecommunications sector were resolved, and opportunities for further development were created last year.
"In Azerbaijan, a relevant framework has now been established to regulate the activities of licensed mobile operators. In addition, a body has been established in the ICT sector to regulate the activities of telecommunications companies," he said.
Rustamov also mentioned that last year, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on improving management in the fields of digitalization, innovation, high technology, and communications in Azerbaijan, which provided significant impetus to comprehensive reforms in relevant areas.
"In addition, in his recent interview with local television channels, the head of state highlighted the construction and reconstruction work in the liberated territories and the importance of building infrastructure to ensure the comfortable life of people. Works on development of concepts of smart cities and villages are also conducted," he said.
Speaking about the liberated lands, the deputy minister also noted that television and radio broadcasting covers 35 percent of those territories.
"Relevant work is underway in the liberated territories to provide the region with transport infrastructure and communications. This year, it’s planned to fully restore television and radio broadcasting in the liberated lands," he said.
Rustamov stated that 72 percent of liberated territories have a 2G network, over 40 percent have a 3G network, and more than 50 percent have a 4G network. There are also 1,400 kilometers of fiber optic lines there.
Suspicious calls from abroad
Rustamov also stated that in December 2021, Azerbaijan's mobile operators were instructed to block suspicious calls from abroad to citizens' cell phones.
He emphasized that these measures were designed to prevent fraud, stating that approximately 90% of such calls were blocked.
Furthermore, he said that work is underway to identify cloned IMEI numbers on mobile devices.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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