Kazakhstan has one of the most developed telecommunications sectors in the Central Asian region. This is especially true of the mobile segment, where widespread network coverage has enabled very high penetration rates – reaching 180% as far back as 2012. Since those heydays, the mobile and fixed-line segments have both pared back their subscriber numbers to more modest levels. The telcos have still been successful in terms of improving their margins and revenues by growing value-added services along with exploiting the capabilities of their higher-speed networks (4G LTE as well as fibre) to drive significant increases in data usage.
In earlier days, Kazakhstan also enjoyed a relatively high fixed-line teledensity thanks to concerted efforts to invest in the fixed-line infrastructure as well as next-generation networks. But as with most developed telecom markets around the world, demand for traditional voice services is on the wane as customers take a preference for the flexibility and ubiquity of the mobile platform for voice as well as data services.
Mobile clearly dominates the telecom sector in Kazakhstan, yet 2020 saw a sharp drop in subscriber numbers for both mobile voice and mobile broadband services as the Covid-19 crisis took hold. Even so, data usage (and revenue) went up at a faster rate as more people started working from home – or found they had more ‘downtime’ to spend on the Internet!
With the exception of fixed-line voice services, Kazakhstan’s telecom market is expected to return to moderate growth from 2022 onwards. The extensive deployment of LTE networks across the country (along with the prospect of 5G services being added to the mix in 2023) points towards an even greater uptake of lucrative mobile broadband services, in particular.
This report update includes operator and regulator market data to September 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, an assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.
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