Mobile coverage

Mobile operators in Azerbaijan cover 80 percent of the national territory and an estimated 52 percent of the population accesses the Internet through mobile phones. The customer services of telephone companies are modern and reliable, with shops located in big towns and cities. All companies in the country work with GSM technology. Azercell, the leading mobile operator and part of TeliaSonera, started operating on 3G technology in 2011, offering faster data transfer rates and allowing video calls. Azercell also introduced 4G in 2016, initially in Baku and after 2017 in all the regions.

Due to the occupation of Armenian Armed Forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, the activity of local operators is inaccessible in that territory.

Accessing the Internet via mobile phones is also popular, especially in rural areas, where fixed infrastructure and dial-up services are poor and people are increasingly subscribing to mobile services, though prices for high-speed mobile Internet are still very high.

LTE standard coverage exists mainly in the Baku and Absheron districts. In addition, LTE networks are limited with 1800 MHs, which restricts the coverage in rural areas. Presently, there are 48 provider companies in the country that give 39 telecommunication services. The licenses for connection with 80-90 percent of international gateways are simply monitored by two providers. The level of usage of fixed broadband network is 55 percent, which is higher than the average in the area and is partly linked to an efficient telecommunications infrastructure around Baku. However, the user's average connection speed is low and it stems from the relatively old network based on X-DSL technology. The use of a fixed broadband network differs across the country's regions. While in Baku, 74 percent of households have fixed broadband networks, in the regions this figure is 34 percent.

On 28 December, 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a set of rules on the registration of mobile devices. All mobile phones and other mobile devices must be registered in accordance with the “Complex Action Plan on the prevention of cases on wrongful information about terrorism.” All available mobile devices must be entered in a dedicated registration system. Following the Cabinet of Ministers’ decision, several indicators are included in the registration system. These indicators comprise of IMEI codes, mobile network numbers, SIM cards and affirmation codes of mobile device type. According to the rules, the registered phones are categorised. A “white page” lists registered devices and a “black page” lists unregistered ones.