Science and technology
In the 21st century, a new oil and gas boom helped to improve the situation in Azerbaijan’s science and technology sectors, and the government launched a campaign aimed at modernization and innovation. The government estimates that profits from the information technology and communication industry will grow and become comparable to those from oil production
Azerbaijan has a large and steadily growing Internet sector, mostly uninfluenced by the financial crisis of 2007–2008; rapid growth is forecast for at least five more years.
The country has also been making progress in developing its telecoms sector. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies (MCIT), as well as being an operator through its role in Aztelekom, is both a policy-maker and regulator. Public payphones are available for local calls and require the purchase of a token from the telephone exchange or some shops and kiosks. Tokens allow a call of indefinite duration. As of 2009, there were 1,397,000 main telephone lines and 1,485,000 internet users. There are four GSM providers: Azercell, Bakcell, Azerfon (Nar Mobile), Nakhtel mobile network operators and one CDMA.
In the 21st century a number of prominent Azerbaijani geodynamics and geotectonics scientists, inspired by the fundamental works of Elchin Khalilov and others, designed hundreds of earthquake prediction stations and earthquake-resistant buildings that now constitute the bulk of The Republican Center of Seismic Service.
The Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency launched its first satellite AzerSat 1 into orbit on 7 February 2013 from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana at orbital positions 46° East. The satellite covers Europe and a significant part of Asia and Africa and serves the transmission of TV and radio broadcasting as well as the Internet. The launching of a satellite into orbit is Azerbaijan’s first step in realizing its goal of becoming a nation with its own space industry, capable of successfully implementing more projects in the future.