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Azerbaijan government introduces mobile device registration fee

The Azeri Times

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A fee for registering mobile devices is now being applied in Azerbaijan

Fees for registration of cellular phones brought by individuals from abroad in the Ministry of Communications, Transport and High Technologies have risen in Azerbaijan sharply, from five to 30-150 manat, depending on the characteristics of the device. The decree of the Cabinet of Ministers on new duties was published on July 31. Without registration, the new phone is disconnected from the network. The innovation does not apply to companies that bring phones to the country for sale.

Mobile devices whose market price does not exceed $ 100, which do not have photo and video functions and do not support Internet access, are subject to state duty of 20 manat. The registration of devices whose brand and model, as well as market value at the time of registration, were not listed in the catalog on the official website of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, is also subject to state duty of 20 manat. In other cases the amount of state fee for individuals purchasing mobile devices for personal use will be:

At the market price of the device up to 100 dollars – 30 manat;

At the market price of the device from 101 to 200 dollars – 50 manat;

At the market price of the device from 201 to 400 dollars – 60 manat;

At the market price of the device from 401 to 700 dollars – 70 manat;

At the market price of the device from 701 to 1,000 dollars – 100 manat;

At the market price of the device from 1,001 dollars and above – 150 manat.

Previously, the state fee for individuals was 5 manat, regardless of the market price of the mobile device purchased for personal use.

Interests of Wholesalers Will Be Satisfied

After two devaluations of the Azerbaijani manat, it became more profitable for citizens to bring telephones from a foreign trip. Numerous Azerbaijani tourists, who bring their phones from abroad to themselves, relatives and for sale, now will not pay off in this way, since henceforth the profit from the “personal telephone business” is zero or greatly reduced. Accordingly, the owners of companies engaged in the wholesale import of cell phones are happy, as buyers who previously bought phones abroad will rush into their stores.

The procedure for registration of telephones in the Ministry of Communications has not become more expensive for this agency. Hence, new duties are applied to replenish the state budget and protect the interests of wholesalers.

Reaction of Society

In society, this news was painful, considering it a continuation of the increase in the price of travel in public transport, two increases in the cost of gasoline and a constant increase in the price of food. Experts predict an autumn rise in price of electricity, diesel oil, fuel oil and again gasoline.

“Why these duties, and not others, what is their size, what will they give you – even if it is tens of thousands of manat? Will they help to significantly replenish the budget? Why, following the increase in the public transport fares by 50%, are you now so drastically raising duties on registration of mobile devices? Why are you angering people? Are you provoking them?” the blogger Hamid Hamidov asks the government.

A public figure, military expert Uzeir Javarov is surprised that in Azerbaijan, in the 21st century, they are not concerned with progress or information technologies, but are trying to make money on absurd and unjustified decisions. He considers the government’s decision to be regressive, saying “it is necessary to cancel it, and the initiators of the stupid idea must be urgently brought to justice.”

The increase in fees for the registration of mobile phones at least 4 times, a maximum of 30 times, was criticized by a public expert, Director of the NGO Multimedia Osman Gunduz on Facebook. “I urgently consider it necessary to speak out and call the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers a shame that does not fit into normal logic,” the expert said.

He wants to know the authors of this decision, who submitted the draft of the rise in the duties to the Cabinet, considering these officials lobbyists of groups of people who earn money by selling phones in Azerbaijan. Osman Gunduz believes that by such actions the lobbyists hinder the introduction of new technologies, such as 4G, 5G and LTE, e-government and digital society in Azerbaijan, since it will be unprofitable to purchase devices that support high-speed traffic. The expert suggests that by initiating and deciding on duties, the Cabinet opposes the President’s policy of stimulating innovation and the development of electronic society.

Osman Gunduz urged the Presidential Administration to react urgently to the decision of the Cabinet on the introduction of new fees for the registration of cell phones: “The decision must be canceled, the lobbyists must be identified and appropriate measures must be taken against them.

Business

Fintech start-up TransferWise reports second year of profit, revenue almost doubles

The Azeri Times

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Fintech start-up TransferWise reports second year of profit, revenue almost doubles
Kristo Kaarmann, Co-Founder & CEO, TransferWise, on Centre Stage during day one of MoneyConf 2018 at the RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

TransferWise, one of Europe’s largest financial technology (fintech) start-ups, said Monday it was profitable for the second year in a row.

 

The London-headquartered money transfer firm reported an annual post-tax net profit of £6.2 million ($8 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2018.

Annual revenue nearly doubled to £117 million during the period, from £66 million the previous year, TransferWise said. Operating profit came in at £9.5 million following a loss of £519,000 last year.

The company’s accounts entered into the black for the first time in March 2017, six years after the firm was founded by Estonian entrepreneurs Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarman.

“We’ve proven that fintech can offer consumers an unbelievable experience at a low price, all whilst creating a solid business that can be trusted long-term,” Kaarman, TransferWise’s chief executive, said in a statement Monday.

“Looking forward, sustained growth and our healthy financial position means we can continue to drive down costs whilst investing in developing our product.”

TransferWise is counted among Europe’s “unicorn” start-ups — firms valued at $1 billion or more — with a reported valuation of $1.6 billion.

It has raised a total of $397 million since it was founded in 2011. Backers include asset management giant Old Mutual, Silicon Valley venture capital firms Institutional Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, and British billionaire Richard Branson.

The firm says that £3 billion worth of transactions are moved around each month on the TransferWise app by its more than 4 million users.

The company makes money through fees charged on international transfers, which it boasts are up to eight times lower than those charged by banks.

Last year, it introduced its traveler-friendly borderless account to European customers, which lets users hold over 40 currencies and switch between currencies instantly. TransferWise plans to roll out the product to U.S. users later this year.

And in July, TransferWise tied up with French bank Groupe BPCE, in its first major bank partnership, to provide the lender’s customers access to its money transfer service. It has also struck deals with rival fintech firms Monzo and N26.

Monday’s earnings news could signal a changing landscape for fintech firms like TransferWise when it comes to profitability. Many start-ups in the sector have struggled to break even due to the cost of investing in their products and scaling their business while offering cheaper services than large banks.

Rival currency exchange and banking app Revolut for instance said earlier this year that it had broken even for the first time in December 2017. Meanwhile, another competitor, WorldRemit, expects to turn a profit by 2019.

The money transfer industry is a competitive one, with established giants like Western Union and MoneyGram, both of which have been investing heavily in the digital segments of their businesses.

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Business

Moonves speaks after CBS shakeup, says he’s ‘deeply saddened’

The Azeri Times

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Moonves speaks after CBS shakeup, says he’s ‘deeply saddened’

The two words that keep coming to mind are “stunning downfall.” Sunday night’s announcement by CBS is five stories in one.,

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Watch Elon Musk’s boring machine being operated by an Xbox controller

The Azeri Times

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Watch Elon Musk’s boring machine being operated by an Xbox controller
boring-company-flamethrower-ashley-esqueda-cnet-4

Captura de pantalla: Laura Martínez/CNET

Elon Musk founded The Boring Company in order to drill holes beneath the earth and build tunnels that could possibly reinvent public transport. Most recently the company pitched a “loop” system that would connect Los Angeles suburbs to the Dodgers stadium in four minutes.

It was a company famously founded after Elon Musk got annoyed with LA traffic.

Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016

Currently The Boring Company has three machines capable of digging the tunnels required to make the “loop” systems work.

Here is the second machine, being controlled with an Xbox One controller, which The Boring Company tweeted about on the weekend:

Best video game ever indeed. This is literally the machine being used to burrow into the ground, most likely at Hawthorne, where Elon Musk’s test tunnel is currently being worked on.

Elon Musk recently appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast where he smoked weed and discussed the impending threat of AI.

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