Azerbaijani mobile firm Bakcell eyes expansion
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELCüneyt Türktan, the chief executive of Bakcell, the Azerbaijani mobile phone operator which is among the sponsors of the 15th Eurasian Summit, responds to a question on the company’s future goals and the importance they attach to the summit.
Q: Can you tell us about Bakcell’s future plans?
A: Bakcell has been rapidly growing in Azerbaijan. Our goals in participating in such an international events as the Eurasian Economic Summit are to become recognized on an international platform, to attract investment to Azerbaijan, and to show how advanced Azerbaijan has become in the field of telecommunication. Bakcell‘s growth and the changes in Azerbaijan in last five years. Substructure of telecommunication is ready for new investment in Azerbaijan.
Q: What is your evaluation of the overall position of the telecommunication sector in Azerbaijan?
A: A very competitive environment has allowed the sector to grow rapidly. Mobile revenues have increased two-fold, and the number of GSM subscribers has also doubled. The vice prime minister of Montenegro said that their country has reached 200 per cent [cell phone] penetration. This shows us that we still have a ways to go. There is one more unique factor for Azerbaijan: There is no landline internet connection in the country, which means mobile internet will play a big role. Increased data usage, improved content, and the proliferation of social networks will cause a boom in the sector; and we also support these, of course.
Q: Bakcell was one of the first big investors in the Azerbaijani market. Which large investors followed Bakcell?
A: As the mobile sector grows rapidly, we are trying to break into other sectors. There are many international oil and construction companies and banks in the country as investors. Banks which are customer-focused are especially important for us. They are using our services. Construction companies are also very active in the capital, Baku.
Q: What are your reasons for supporting the Eurasia Economic Summit?
A: We want to put the developing picture of Azerbaijan on the international desk, and also show investors that the infrastructure in Azerbaijan is stronger now. With this summit we are evaluating the possibility of investing in other countries in the region as well, especially neighboring countries. We are also here to attract foreign investors and gain new customers in the country.
Azerbaijan hit bottom in 2009 before the global crisis of 2010. Since then our economic growth has gone on without any interruption. The GDP has continuously increased in recent years; we have a healthy economy. New investments have been supported by the government, and we need to draw attention to this picture. In my opinion, this event is the right place for to do that.