Azerbaijani ISP Delta Telecom has signed an agreement with vendor Alcatel-Lucent to purchase LTE equipment for USD24.6 million, according to Trend news agency, citing a statement from Turkey’s public disclosure platform Kamuoyunu Aydinlatma Platformu (KAP). The contract will come into effect following Delta’s advance payment of 30% of the total cost, expected by 31 March 2016. The operator has already installed several base stations and says its LTE network will initially launch in Baku and Abershon peninsula, before coverage expands across the country.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in September 2015 Delta Telecom disclosed its plans to upgrade its existing WiMAX infrastructure to LTE technology, paving the way to become the country’s fourth mobile operator. A source from Delta Telecom was cited as saying: ‘At the initial stage the company plans to deploy data services based on the fourth-generation network … The provision of voice services in the GSM standard is presupposed in the second phase, and therefore authorisation from the [Ministry of Communications and High Technologies] is necessary. The company plans to apply for the permit in the future.’ The network deployment is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016; mobile services will be offered under the Delta Telecom subsidiary ‘Telecom Invest’ brand.