In the 21st century, a new oil and gas boom helped to improve the situation in the 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 with those from oil production.
Azerbaijan has a large and steadily growing Internet sector, mostly uninfluenced by the global financial crisis; 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 pay phones 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 five GSM providers: Azercell, Bakcell, Azerfon (Nar Mobile), Aztrank, Catel 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 in 7 February 2013 from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana at orbital positions 46° East. The satellite will cover Europe and significant part of Asian countries and Africa and will have transmission for TV, radio broadcasting and the internet. The launch of its own satellite on orbit is Azerbaijan’s first action in realizing prospective projects to turn itself into a country with a space industry.