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Kazakhstan Telecom

Research and Markets: Kazakhstan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - 2012

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Research and Markets: Kazakhstan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - 2012

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Kazakhstan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts" report to their offering.

With a GDP per capita almost equal to Russia, Kazakhstan has a booming telecom market

Although growth slowed significantly in 2009, Kazakhstan has been experiencing a booming telecom market that included almost 100% mobile penetration by early 2010. This has come about on the back of a growing economy and a program of positive regulatory reform in the telecom sector. Legislation adopted in 2004 laid the foundation for the liberalisation and development of the telecom sector and put an end to the monopoly enjoyed by Kazakhtelecom, the state-controlled telecom operator.

The key drivers in the telecom sector included:

  • the deployment of Kazakhtelecom's fully-digital national telecom network based on local and long-distance switches and fibre optic lines linking all major cities in the country; efforts to improve international connectivity and increase both mobile and fixed-line subscribers; the continuing digitalisation of exchanges;
  • the further reform of telecommunications legislation;
  • the process of accession to the World Trade Organization.Kazakhstan had a relatively strong fixed-line penetration (24 telephone lines per 100 inhabitants by end-2009), with six operators providing fixed-line telephone services to about 3.8 million subscribers. There had been long waiting lists for fixed-line telephone services over the years. The country's mobile market entered a boom phase in 2000, no doubt boosted to some extent by the long delays in obtaining fixed-line services. The number of mobile services had exceeded fixed-lines by late 2004. Demand for mobile services was so strong that in 2006 that the government went on to auction a third GSM licence (and fourth mobile operator licence), which was duly awarded to NeoTelecom, a subsidiary of Kazakhtelecom. NeoTelecom then launched its mobile service in early 2007.
  • Of particular note has been the recent healthy growth in internet activity in Kazakhstan, with the move to broadband access in particular taking place at a rapid rate. Broadband subscribers as a proportion of the population had reached 10% by early 2010, with the market likely to continue its expansion by 100% annually.

Major highlights:

  • After Kazakhstan's mobile market delivered annual growth of 36% in 2008, the 2009 year saw a major slowdown in the market with net growth almost negligible;
  • With a mobile penetration approaching 100% in early 2010, the country's mobile market was continuing to grow but was expected to start saturating in the not too distant future;
  • Broadband internet was quickly expanding on top of a general upturn in demand for internet services; the number of broadband subscribers increased tenfold from a relatively small base in 2006/07, then doubled in 2008 and doubled again in 2009;
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