Azerbaijani mobile operator Azercell claims that the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has ordered the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to award the cellco a 3G licence, Azerbaijan Business Center reports. Azercell’s CEO Ali Agan said that the company would be able to launch third-generation services during the first half of 2011. At present, rival operator Azerfon is the only cellco in the country to hold a licence to provide 3G services. Shortly after receiving its concession in December 2009, Azerfon launched its 3G network in Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Shirvan, Nakhchivan, Mingachevir, Tovuz and Shamkir, as well as in the Absheron Peninsula. Meanwhile, Azercell and the country’s other GSM operator, Bakcell, did not receive licences as they had not submitted the relevant documents required by law detailing network rollout progress and planned coverage. Earlier this year the MCIT began reviewing an appeal by the pair over the award of 3G licences.