Turkmenistan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Despite strong mobile growth Turkmenistan remains underdeveloped

Turkmenistan’s telecommunications market in this poor and predominantly rural country is relatively small. Its telecom services were considered to be the least developed of all the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries when they took shape. Since then, poor growth in telecom services can be attributed to a large extent to the slow development of the private sector and state control over most economic activities. Efforts to move towards a more market-oriented economy have been limited. In the telecom sector there has been some progress, but this limited progress has in turn been overwhelmed by significant setbacks.

Turkmen Telecom has been the primary provider of telecommunication services, and through a subsidiary, TM-Cell, it has been operating a GSM mobile network in competition with a private mobile operator, MTS Turkmenistan, since 2005 a subsidiary of the Russian-based MTS. Not surprisingly it has been the mobile services that have been dominating the expansion activity.

Turkmenistan has experienced a number of problems relating to communications technology. Despite recent efforts to upgrade the country’s telecom infrastructure, the telephone network remained poorly developed and many villages have been left without telephone services.

Broadband access remains limited in scale and nature. Fixed broadband penetration reached less than 1% by 2015. Market penetration is predicted to continue to remain low over the next five years to 2021. However Turkmenistan’s mobile market has experienced very strong growth over the last few years. However the market has moved closer to a saturation phase with a subsequent slowing in the growth rate. Market penetration reached 122% in 2015.

In 2015 the Turkmenistan President signed a decree founding the telecommunications company Asgabat Saher Telefon Ulgamy (ASTU). The new operator will provide telecommunications services in the capital city. The aim of setting up the new operator is to increase competition in the telecommunications market. Also in 2015 the country’s first communications satellite which was successfully launched.

Key developments:

  • In 2015 the country’s first communications satellite which was successfully launched.
  • MTS Turkmenistan introduced new music and video services in 2015.
  • In 2015 the Turkmenistan President signed a decree founding the telecommunications company Asgabat Saher Telefon Ulgamy (ASTU)
  • The government’s suspension and generally poor handling of the dispute was seen as a serious indictment of its regulatory regime.
  • Fixed-line penetration in Turkmenistan has failed to rise significantly, reaching only 12% by 2015;
  • Internet growth in the country had been hindered by severe government controls. Strict controls remain in place.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
    • 3.1 Background
    • 3.2 Economy
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 4.2 Historical Overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
  • 6. Government policies - Censorship
  • 7. Fixed network operators
  • 8. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 8.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 8.2 Fibre Networks
    • 8.3 Satellites
  • 9. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 9.2 Broadband statistics
    • 9.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 9.3.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 10. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • 11. Major mobile operators
    • 11.1 Operator Statistics
    • 11.2 MTS-Turkmenistan (formerly Barash Communications Technologies (BCT))
    • 11.3 TM Cell (Altyn Asyr)
    • 11.4 Asgabat Saher Telefon Ulgamy (ASTU) (New Operator)
  • 12. Digital Media
    • 12.1 Music
      • 12.1.1 Introduction
      • 12.1.2 Local Developments
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Turkmenistan – 2015 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2015 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Turkmenistan’s GDP real growth rate – 2003 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1991 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Internet users – 1999 - 2015
  • Table 11 – Estimated fixed internet subscribers – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 12 – International internet bandwidth capacity and per user – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 13 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 14 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2015
  • Table 15 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rates – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 16 – Mobile operators
  • Table 17 – Historical Mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2010
  • Table 18 – Historical Mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2013
  • Table 19 – MTS mobile subscribers – 2005; 2007 – 2010; 2014
  • Table 20 – MTS mobile ARPU – 2004 - 2005; 2008 - 2014
  • Table 21 – TM Cell mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2013
  • Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and annual change 2000 - 2015
  • Chart 2 – Fixed Broadband subscribers and annual change - 2000-2015
  • Chart 3 - Mobile subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2015

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