ISP Delta Telecom is planning to upgrade its existing WiMAX infrastructure to LTE technology, paving the way to become the country’s fourth mobile operator, according to Trend news agency. A source from Delta Telecom is cited as saying: ‘At the initial stage the company plans to deploy data services based on the fourth-generation network … The provision of voice services in the GSM standard is presupposed in the second phase, and therefore authorisation from the [Ministry of Communications and High Technologies] is necessary. The company plans to apply for the permit in the future.’
Delta will expand its infrastructure via the installation of new base stations, and as such has already held negotiations regarding network deployment with Swedish vendor Ericsson and France-based Alcatel-Lucent, with only ‘technical details of the project’ remaining to be solved. The network deployment is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016; mobile services will be offered under the Delta Telecom subsidiary ‘Telecom Invest’ brand.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Delta Telcom commercially launched WiMAX services in Baku and the Absheron Peninsula in January 2010. Despite the company divulging plans to ultimately aim for nationwide coverage, in February 2015 Delta informed TeleGeography that the service was ‘no longer available’. As at September 2015 three companies compete in Azerbaijan’s mobile sector – Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon.