Brought to you as a public service of the Open Spectrum Foundation (Stichting Open Spectrum), Amsterdam - Prague
"The regulation of the allocation of radio frequency spectrum in Azerbaijan is dispersed across a number of different Government institutions. The main relevant state authority is the Azerbaijan State Committee on Radio Frequencies (ASCR) acting under the authority of the MCIT. Another relevant authority is the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, which allocates frequencies for Television and Radio Broadcasting. A third authority is the Commission on Radio Frequencies acting under the authority of the Cabinet of Ministers. The role and functions of the Commission are not defined in any great detail. The Commission develops and implements State policy with regards to the deployment of spectrum. All other authorities dealing with radio spectrum are under its general control. Frequency is allocated in accordance with the provisions of the General Regulation of ASCR (1996), although these regulations are quite outdated. It was anticipated that new rules in this policy area would be included in the Law on Telecommunications. However, the 2005 Law on Telecommunications does not significantly change the specific details of regulation of radio frequency in Azerbaijan. The ASCR is in the process of putting together a national frequency allocation table, but this is not currently in place, limiting the authorities' ability to manage spectrum efficiently... The 2005 Law on Telecommunications also includes rules covering licensing for telecommunications service provision. However, secondary legislation, which has yet to be published, is needed for these measures to be implemented and explained in more detail... The 2005 law also covers the certification of communications equipment, although the scope of such requirements is yet to be clarified. There is concern among some industry players that this lack of clarity could translate into arbitrary actions on the part of government authorities..." ---Final Report: Monitoring of Russia and Ukraine (priority 1) and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova (priority 2) - Telecommunications and the Information Society, by Political Intelligence and Internews for the European Commission (December 2006), chapter 5: Azerbaijan, pages 18 and 21.
In Azerbaijan there is no special law about rules for using the radio-frequency spectrum... Nevertheless I know that in our republic many firms and organizations got permission from the Ministry of Communication without special problems and they use these frequencies today. They use frequencies in the 5.2-5.7 MHz range for broadband high-speed Internet access, the 2.4 GHz band is used for radio-relay stations... But member of parliament Alimamed Nuriyev evaluates the situation differently: "In my view, it would be very good if the rules of frequency use were prescribed in a separate law rather than being decided by some department. In the law it would be possible to clearly indicate that it is necessary to make frequencies available to citizens for their use... In this sphere it is necessary to put an end to the monopoly of some executive structures and rich companies. Indeed the Council of Europe is requiring Azerbaijan to follow guidance and bring order and transparency to radio frequency licensing..."
Thanks to research conducted for us by Katy E. Pearce and Elnur Mammadov in Baku, we have learned that Presidential Decree number 782 ("On improvement of rules of delivery of the special license for some kinds of activity," dated 3 September 2002) lists the activities requiring a license in Azerbaijan. Provision of Internet Services is not on the list - but telecommunications is. More to the point, Mr. Mammadov says that "no application for allocation of frequencies is required for [WiFi] use... inside the premises if capacity of radio devices does not exceed 0.03 W (30 mW)..." This suggests that licenses may be required for WiFi power output levels greater than 30 mW and for use outdoors.
"Azerbaijani internet service provider increases Wi-Fi traffic volume" Trend News Agency (via TMCnet.com), 27 February 2011: "DataCell company (trademark Hot-Net) introduced... new tariff plans for users of wireless Wi-Fi, DataCell manager Rufat Huseynov told Trend. Huseynov said that the innovation affected directly the volume of traffic, which doubled... At present, the company's network covers a significant part of the central streets of Baku and work on further expansion is underway... As Huseynov said earlier, the company plans to expand the Hot-Net network coverage to the regional level in 2011."
"Azerbaijan not to license Internet TV and radio," by U. Sadikhova, Trend News, 30 June 2010: "Internet radio and television will not be licensed in Azerbaijan, Presidential Administration Social and Political Department head Ali Hasanov said at a conference on 'New Media Era Values' in Baku today... Former OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Miklos Haraszti expressed concern about the rumors. Such intentions may create grave problems for the development of Internet resources in Azerbaijan in the future, he said. Hasanov said the rumors of licensing e-media are untrue..."
"Wireless technology for Research and Educational Communities in Azerbaijan," by Dr. Elchin R. Aliyev, in English, presented at a meeting of the Central and East European Networking Association in Zagreb, Croatia, September 2002. This describes the (mainly outdoor) use of wireless networks by academic institutions in Azerbaijan, confirming that "authorisation" is necessary to use 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11 technologies at longer ranges and there is no guarantee of interference-free operation. In addition, Dr. Aliyev notes that it has been possible to use 5.15-5.35 and 5.725-5.825 GHz for outdoor WLANs in Azerbaijan since January 1997.
"Ministry to revamp telecoms licensing," TeleGeography, 4 January 2006: "Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) says it is planning to revamp the country's licensing regime, with the telecoms market its priority. The MCIT currently issues 30 different types of concession, but just one to cover the provision of all telecoms services. It will now draw up proposals to offer separate, differently priced, licences for varying communications services. There are currently ten licensed telecoms providers in Azerbaijan."
Decree 22 (5 February 1998): "On approval of Regulations on issuance of special permits (licenses) for accomplishment of activity on communication services" (English translation).
OSCE organizes roundtable on TV and Radio licensing,"Azerbaijan Newsletter, 15 April 2005: "On April 12, OSCE roundtable discussed TV and radio licensing in Azerbaijan... It was the first in a series of activities designed by the OSCE Office in Baku with the aim of addressing this media issue in Azerbaijan..."
June 2005: a rewrite of Azerbaijan's telecommunications law was approved by the Milli Mejlis (parliament) after its second reading. The Azerbaijan Entrepreneurs Confederation and Multimedia Information Technologies Centre circulated critical comments about the draft, claiming it has "serious shortcomings related to regulation of this field, its demonopolization, licensing," etc. Nevertheless, it reorganized the Ministry of Communication as the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies.
Forum.az's "Wi-fi Forum" (all in Russian). One message quotes an Azer-Press report about the country's first public Wi-fi hotspot opening at the Baku Business Center on 22 June 2004. Vladimir Zimin wrote about the hotspot for Internet News Azerbaijan, noting that WLANs had previously been installed at the Academy of Sciences and in a few large companies and banks, but not for public access.
AZ.StarNet says it was established in 2002 to provide wireless Internet.
This predominantly Armenian region declared its independence from Azerbaijan on 6 January 1992.
"NKR Government Regulates Radio Frequencies,"Artsakh Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 1 (January 2002) in English: On 29 January 2002, "The Cabinet of Ministers adopted procedures regulating the use and distribution of radio frequencies, as well as purchase, import, and use of high frequency radio equipment..." According to Richard Giragosian's "The TransCaucasus: A Chronology" (February 2002 edition), this law was "modeled on recent legislation in the European Union, governing the use of radio spectrum and creating a systematic allocation of radio frequencies..."