İnterview with the Director of Delta Teleсom- Ramazan Valiyev
Question: As the single company enabling Azerbaijan to provide access to internet, how do you assess the current situation and general development of internet in the country?
Answer: Some people wrongly call it as the single communication operator enabling the country’s access to internet. Azerbaijan is far from the global internet backbones located in Europe and the United States. Azerbaijan links with them through the neighbouring countries only. If we, for instance, want to get linked to the European backbone through a channel with a speed of 2 Mbit/sec, our monthly transit charges to Rostelecom will comprise some $10,000. The Georgian and Iranian operators have set almost the same price for allowing the channel to pass via their territory. But more is the speed of the channel, less is the price.
But the establishment of the internet backbone in Baku and its linking via several operators with the backbones in Europe and the States, made it possible to receive the profits from rivalry among these operators and to create a high-quality access for the internet users. Better to say, connecting an internet provider with the European backbone through a channel with the speed of 2 Mbit/sec costs some $10,000 a month, but using the Baku backbone having same speed costs some $1,000 a month. That is why the local internet providers prefer connection via our Baku backbone. At present, the Baku backbone is connected with Europe and the United States through transit channels with the speed of 6 Gbit/sec. Some 10% of the speed is used and 90% of the users are in Baku only.
Question: What is the cause of high internet prices in Azerbaijan?
Answer: If the internet prices in Azerbaijan are compared with those in Europe, yes they are high. The cause is that unlike Europe, we pay to other countries for the transit services, which is some 85-90% of the internet tariffs in Azerbaijan.
Question: It was recently stated that the internet prices may drop. How may that happen?
Answer: After establishment of the backbone in Azerbaijan, the connection expenses of internet service providers (ISP) and other large users decreased some 70 times to $500 for 1 Mbit/sec, while in 2002 it was $36,000. The issue on decreasing of tariffs for the end users has already been raised for the Azerbaijani Communications & IT Minister Ali Abbasov and it will be solved in near future. The expenditures of ISPs for connection to backbone may increase for the following reasons:
- The users in Azerbaijan mainly enter foreign sites. For the time being, this traffic comprises some 90%. Placing Azerbaijani sites in the country may decrease the traffic to 50%. And we have to do our best for this purpose.
- Azerbaijan should become a transit area for its neighbour countries. In that case, the internet tariffs in Azerbaijan will drop owing to the tariff charges received from these countries.