Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has awarded licences to provide third-generation services to the country’s two largest mobile operators by subscribers, Azercell and Bakcell, Trend news agency reports. The two cellcos have already rolled out the relevant infrastructure, and are likely to introduce 3G services within the next few months. Until now, Azerfon was the only cellco in the country to hold a concession to provide third-generation services. The company was awarded its licence in December 2009 for the official fee of AZN11,000 (USD13,900), launching its 3G network in Baku and other main cities the same month. Meanwhile, the ministry has also recommended the three mobile operators submit proposals for the introduction of Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the MCIT began reviewing an appeal by Azercell and Bakcell earlier this year over the award of UMTS concessions, after the pair initially failed to submit the relevant documents required by law detailing network rollout progress and planned coverage. Last month the ministry said it was in the final phase of completing the necessary documentation and procedures concerning the award of 3G licences to Azercell and Bakcell.