Azerbaijan's Signalmen Day: A retro futuristic look into the future

The projects Info-communication Technology (ICT), High Technology (HT), and finally Digital Development (DD) seem to help the survival of many sectors of the world's economy, although the introduction of these digital technologies requires the competence of countries to ensure equal accessibility to a billion inhabitants of our planet, to provide high-quality services to the communications sector (CS).

Yes, the communications sector  has a real social, psychological and cultural impact on us, and apparently requires a new worldview, the ability to see and understand the information picture of our current real world, to identify and analyze everything new in the study of the process of nature and society. I also remember the attitude towards employees of the communications industry - Radio Day is a professional holiday of signalmen, which was celebrated solemnly and annually on May 7 in the Soviet Union.

It is good that the UN General Assembly, considering the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Antalya (Turkey), in November 2006, decided to celebrate May 17 as World Information Society Day (IS), which really indicates the importance of the communications sector and all its subsequent projects: ICT, HT, and DD.     

May 17 is celebrated as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. This date is connected with the fact that on May 17, 1865, the world's first international Telegraphic Agreement was signed in Paris, and the International Telegraphic Union was founded, which since 1932 It became the International Telecommunication Union (in Russia, the International Telecommunication Union) and is located in Geneva (Switzerland). And today our world is actively completing the transition from analog to digital, opening up huge potential with incredible possibilities, although we are also faced with the dangers of these technologies, such as: "digital censorship", "digital inequality", "cyber threat", human rights violations on the Internet, ... etc.

Apparently, therefore, exceptions to the rules of blindly implementing a number of “ready-made solutions” are required without mastering and adapting strategies for innovative development and digital communication in the world. After all, the concept of the development of the communications sector is the most important issue for all telecom operators in developing countries of the world, and it is necessary for proper planning, design and forecasting of CS.

Probably it is impossible to turn the CS into a landfill of “paper projects”!  

Maybe that is why we need branch communication institutes (educational, design and research) or at least “three in one” with the University of Transport and Communications, after 30 years of independence of Azerbaijan, to increase the efficiency of the communications sector  of our country?

The question is, who alone can track all the trends in the CS in the world in order to keep up with digital technological innovations, because, for example, there is no industry institute of transport and communications in Azerbaijan, which is obliged to do this systematically, fundamentally and for years (and we have been dragging the creation of this University for more than 30 years, raised in the Ministry of Communications in June 1992)?

The presence of such a university (with a three-in-one function) would probably help us in creating our own specialists-producers of "digital technology" capable of bringing us out of the current state in the communications sector of Azerbaijan.

Apparently, by administrative levers alone (without institutions) the CS of the country, it is difficult to achieve something (for example, autumn 2015), but it is possible to understand the specifics of the CS if there are high-level specialists, otherwise the CS Administration will not know what is going on behind its back (there at communications enterprises), especially after privatization.

And the International Telecommunication Union still determines the level of development of telecommunications in any country not by the number of mobile phones or satellite communications in the country, but by the number of fixed (stationary) telephones per 100 inhabitants. Yes, it looks like this is the most affordable and cheapest type of communication and Internet services to the population, and according to the latest published statistics of the Regional Commonwealth of Communications  of the CIS countries for 2016, Azerbaijan (close in population to Belarus) is twice worse than them in this parameter (where Belarusians are the first among 11 CIS countries, and  we  rank the 7th).  

Of particular concern in the CS is the situation in the regions (rural communications) of the country, where telephony is several times worse than in the capital (Baku), which also sharply reduces the interest of prospective foreign investors in the privatization of the CS and infringes on the rights of rural residents for high-quality and cheap communication and Internet services. Therefore, we need our own national long-term concepts for the development of the communications sector, considering the future stages of their development, based on ITU recommendations, at least in the following five areas: technical policy; financing; management; commerce and personnel. But the main thing seems to be the security of the CS (from cyber-attacks), which should be solved in Baku (as it is done with oil and gas), and not abroad!

It looks like in about a couple of years, in the West the most conservative part of telecommunications - the last mile (wires and cables for personal and peripheral devices) will be a thing of the past. Moreover, wireless Internet access in Europe may cover more than 80%, and the share of distance education on our planet will soon amount to 50% of all education in schools, colleges and universities. Therefore, the world will have to adopt laws regulating the new relations of people, robots and production (considering their rights, obligations, ... etc.).

A the human body is already taking a certain shape, thanks to a large number of robots, where our internal organs will probably be replaced by cyber devices of better quality, and nano machines will be implanted directly into our brain, and carry out arbitrary input and output of signals from brain cells (Neuralink has already implanted an implant in the human brain -, which will lead to virtual reality, (say it's not from a science fiction movie!).

Therefore, there is no doubt that only flexibility, decentralization, alternatives and digitalization in the global economy will create a real environment for competition, and complete the implementation of digital development in our sectors of the economy of Azerbaijan.

Apparently, it is impossible to build the communications sector of Azerbaijan only on precocious projects and centers, purchased technical means, without national institutions, manufacturers, continuity and professionals, remaining only "mechanical assemblers or users". It seems that we have entered our new digital information age, where the level of future development of our country will be measured not only by progress in democracy, human rights or WTO membership, but also by the level of “digital development” of all sectors of the Azerbaijani economy without exception.     Yes, it seems that the time has come to recognize the philosophy and place of the country's communications sector for maximizing the benefits of digital interconnection and mutual settlement in the economy.

And the sectors (parts) of our economy under the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport (MDDT), communication began with the unification of two industries: communications (Ministry of Communications) and Transport (Ministry of Transport) into one, unified and very necessary industry, where regional CS maintenance personnel should be managed and appointed not by Executive Power (on places), and the technical centers of the industry are MDDT and CS enterprises.

Apparently, the following urgent tasks of the CS for the future also need to be solved: inventory, technical expertise and compatibility of all required solutions for the CS with the development of unified standards of technological design for communications of two related sectors (transport and communications) for the economic and commercial profitability of this combined industry, through the institute (University) three in one.

And the philosophy of the communications sector (CS) is the real equal accessibility of all types of communication services to our 10 million consumers of Azerbaijan, regardless of their occupation and profession, age and gender, place of residence and distance to the capital of our homeland Baku, in all communication services of the country. Apparently, the level of development of economic sectors in developing countries of the world like Azerbaijan is assessed not by the fact that ready-made digital technologies are being bought at the expense of natural resources, revenues have grown in the country (or with an increase in tariffs for communication services), but by the fact that the country itself, through the efforts of national specialists, is able to create its future and produce them, as they do: Estonia, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, ... etc.

Maybe that's why, for the future, it requires the presence of high-level signalers in the Communications Administration itself (the successor to the Ministry of Communications) of the country, so that personnel are recruited not on the principle of "proximity to someone", but with qualifications head and shoulders higher than at the country's communications enterprises, in order to really know what is happening on communication networks, and not face events like the shameful autumn of 2015, with ten heads of enterprises of the Ministry of Communications under investigation for two whole years? It seems that we also need our own technological procedures, inventors of our computers, smartphones and software for them, designers of functional robots and multipurpose drones, assemblers of intelligent networks ... which are usually created, including in laboratories of industry institutes (Universities) of transport and communications.

Or maybe we should give ourselves (like El Salvador) into the hands of the president of the country (who solved the Karabakh problem), and defeat all types of corruption by abolishing taxes on all types of innovation, artificial intelligence, ... etc.    

The presence of joint international operators, manufacturers (the ULDUZ plant has been gone for a long time) and providers in the country, otherwise everything can happen with Bakteleqraf and Azeurotel, with interference in the natural philosophy of the development of the communications sector (CS). Apparently, Azerbaijan's complicity in the production of the latest technologies is also required (as Estonia did with Skype) in order not to be mechanical users of these latest technologies, and most importantly, not to shift the tasks of CS protection and security to foreign organizations.

And the financial interest of foreign manufacturers is seen to be greater, aimed at profits from the introduction of their new developments in developing countries such as Azerbaijan, leaving us without a future, and in technological dependence for many years.           As a result, even such a necessary and important order of the President of Azerbaijan as the creation of the University of Information Technology in the country (according to me, the University of Transport and Communications of Azerbaijan, but three in one) has not come true since 01.02.2013.  

Apparently, it is necessary to remember about the Joint Venture Azeurotel (which could become the first privatized national telecom operator of the country), and it seems that a lot of us rests on the lack of competition and transparent valuation of facilities in the CS of Azerbaijan (although the process began on 29.03.2011.)

Apparently, “transparent privatization” should be conducted according to simple algorithms:

  • An open and transparent decision on the timing of the start and end of privatization;
  • Sectoral commissions on privatization, and not by “decree from above;”
  • Open competition, including among foreign investors... etc.

It is probably necessary to rid our officials of their influence on state-owned communications enterprises (as was written in the media, according to the events of autumn 2015 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Communications) and follow a logical sequence: the presence of an independent regulator of the communications sector (outside government agencies), real liberalization, demonopolization, and only in the end privatization.

It is probably necessary to manage the country's transport and communications by a non-governmental regulator, to create dedicated communication networks in the country by any individuals and legal entities of Azerbaijan to provide an alternative and competition in the CS.

Apparently, the presence of an independent regulator outside the communications sector is a real guarantor of transparency of relations, interconnection and mutual settlement of the CS, where the dark sides are visible and hidden, and the unaccounted-for revenues of the CS of Azerbaijan are not yet subject to calculation, which we should have done a long time ago (or at least after the autumn of 2015). And the unification (or absorption) of CS state structures in the country is seen as only decorative processes in the management of CS resources for privatization (

Apparently, the delay in “transparent privatization” in the CS deprives signalers of high salaries, and the lack of inventory by the Ministry of Communications in the past is a spectacle, such as the assignment of areas of long-distance meeting points, post offices, premises in areas of communication hubs of the country, not to mention branches of departments, Soyuzpechat shops and an unforgettable autumn 2015 (the case of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Communications), and therefore, years later in Azerbaijan, the CS will have to re-privatize everything.

But the main thing seems to be the recognition of the philosophy of the communications sector, where our world of information is really ruled by: digital communications, media and their derivative – social networks on the Internet, as transparent international digital technological resources to ensure relationships between people and organizations around the world, as equally accessible means of interconnection of telecommunications, media and everything humanity.

Therefore, the technical policy of the CS of the country should be considered in the context of the Information Society, because for the third time in a row we have changed the name of the Communications Administration to the successor of the Ministry of Communications (apparently because of the ICT, HT and DD projects). Apparently, we are waiting for digital technologies to come to them by themselves, through payments for intellectual property rights of developed countries and their external manufacturers, and the lack of their own institutions (educational, design and research), manufacturers, is fraught with backlogs in developing countries such as Azerbaijan.

Probably, the day of signalers - May 17 – as the World Information Society Day, it is an annual reminder to the world about the equal accessibility of the means of interconnection of humanity, freedom of the press, self-expression, and a tribute to the professional workers of the communications sector and mass communication.

Apparently, whether we want it or not, the CS of the country is still on the path of development (and thank Allah), where new digital technologies and centers are being introduced, but, unfortunately, due to the lack of industry institutes (educational, design and research), dictated by external companies in developed countries, and as a rule, for their own benefit.

And the evolution of communication technology in Azerbaijan began in 1868, with the introduction of telegraphy and the Baku Post Office and Telegraph building, along Merkuryevskaya Street, which then became Shaumyan Street 33 (since 1929), then Azerbaijan Avenue (since 1990), and since 2008 - Zarif Aliyev 77 (former 33), where for many years the Baku Post Office, Baku Telegraph and the Ministry of Communications, and now the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport (ICRT) of Azerbaijan (but without the keyword COMMUNICATION) were located here.

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