December 6 is the professional holiday of communications and IT workers in Azerbaijan. The professional holiday was founded in accordance with the decree of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated December 2, 2006. Since then, telecommunications and information technology workers throughout the country have begun to celebrate their professional holiday every year on December 6.
The celebration of this holiday on December 6 is related to the creation of the first telephone line in Azerbaijan.
The history of telephone communication in our country began with the commissioning of the first telephone line in 1881. The establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Azerbaijan, the first democratic state in the Muslim world, required significant work towards the development of post and telegraph in the country. The Ministry of Post and Telegraph of the Independent State was established.
After the great leader Heydar Aliyev began to lead Azerbaijan in 1969 along with other areas, communication has also embarked on a path of sustainable development. In those years, post, telegraph and broadcasting have passed a remarkable development path. The construction of the Railway Post Office in Baku, the House of Communication, buildings for communication centers in regional centers, and the construction of hundreds of post offices in the country coincides with that period. During the years of independence, the Great Leader has always kept the development of this sphere in the spotlight. One of the most important steps taken towards development of communication in Azerbaijan was the decree of National Leader Heydar Aliyev on “Approval of the National Strategy for Information and Communication Technologies for 2003-2012 for the sake of the Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan” signed on 17 February 2003 and in the past the policy implemented in the country in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) was based on this strategy.
In the modern era of rapidly changing new technologies, this progress has gained wider scope under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. In 2005, the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Telecommunications” was adopted, “National Strategy for the Development of Information Society in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2014-2020” was approved, in order to ensure the implementation of the National Strategy, the State Program for the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Information Society in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2016-2020 “ was prepared. State Fund for Development of Information Technology, High Tech Park were established. Order of the head of state on “Establishment of the day of professional holiday of employees of the communication and information technologies” in 2006 and according to the Decree, the celebration of December 6 every year as a professional holiday is a further manifestation of the state care provided to those working in this area. As a result of the work done, Azerbaijan is assessed between developing and developed countries for the ICT development indicators.
In the recent years, Azerbaijan with ancient history and a great deal of success has occupied one of the leading places in the world for its ICT development indicators.
Fixed telephone network was fully digitized in the Republic of Azerbaijan for the first time among the CIS countries, all regional centers of the republic have joined the main fiber-optic telecommunication network, and Azerbaijan has the most secure Data Center in the region. Today, local and international IT service providers can create their own infrastructure safely in the Data Center.
Today, there are 78 Internet users per 100 people in Azerbaijan, of which 65% use broadband internet. According to this indicator, our country maintains its leadership in the CIS and Central Asia. Currently, the number of fixed network subscribers per 100 people in the country equals to 15.
At the same time, “4G” services are provided by all three mobile operators in the country, there are 106 mobile subscribers per 100 people, etc.
According to the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union, transition to digital broadcasting has been fully ensured in the country today. The population gained the opportunity to watch radio and television broadcasts better and without fail. Consecutive work has been carried out to improve the range and quality of postal and telecommunication services, to upgrade the infrastructure, to strengthen human resources and to liberalize the field.
Azerbaijan has also become a regional center for postal services. The favorable geostrategic position of our country has opened new opportunities for our country in terms of turning Baku into a large transport and logistics center, as well as transportation and delivery of international e-commerce products. Today the Azerbaijani postal service operates as a regional transit post center (HUB) for the implementation of interstate e-commerce. The project implemented in this direction is producing its fruit.
One of Azerbaijan’s biggest achievements in recent years in ICT field, first of all, is its becoming the only country in the region with space industry. In 2009, President Ilham Aliyev approved the “State Program on the Establishment and Development of Space Industry in the Republic of Azerbaijan”. As a result of the successful implementation of the program, Azerspace-1, the first satellite of the country and covering the world’s third, was put into orbit. The production process of the Azerspace-2 satellite is underway and the satellite is scheduled to be launched into orbit in 2018.
The formation of the electronic government in the country is also in the spotlight and the simplification of relations between officials and citizens by using IT tools aims to prevent bureaucratic obstacles. The information exchange between information systems of government bodies through the e-government portal is carried out, infrastructure is continuously improved for the use of e-signature.
Along with the above mentioned, “Shebeke” service centers were established in the country to provide citizens with high quality, convenient services in single space by applying up-to-date innovations, which soon proved to be a positive experience.
In accordance with relevant decrees of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies and High Tech Park are functioning under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the purpose of developing competitive and high-export, innovative ICT industry in the country. These institutions provide financial and organizational support to the economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to attract foreign investments and to expand the production of ICT products in the country, the organization of new companies and to innovative initiatives (start-ups).
The Republic of Azerbaijan is the initiator and active implementer of many regional projects in the field of ICT. The implementation of the Trans-Eurasian Super Information Highway (TASIM) project, supported by the UN General Assembly resolutions (2009, 2012, and 2013), as well as the implementation of the Europe-Middle East Information Highway (Europe-Persia Express Gateway - EPEG) will significantly increase our country’s access to the Internet.
Bakutel exhibition, which is held every year, also plays a great role in terms of demonstrating Azerbaijan’s achievements in the field of ICT. The growing interest in this exhibition from year to year in the world demonstrates the successful development of our country’s ICT field.