Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.
Kazakhstan has developed one of the most advanced telecoms sectors in Central Asia, supported by the largest economy in the region which itself has benefited from abundant oil and natural gas reserves.
The fixed broadband market in Kazakhstan remains relatively underdeveloped, due to the dominance of the mobile broadband sector, which is in turn driven by the strong mobile sector.
The number of fixed telephone lines in Kazakhstan is declining steadily, again related to the preference for the mobile platform for voice services. The rate of decline began to accelerate in 2015, and further decline is anticipated in coming years.
Kazakhstan’s mobile market was once highly competitive but has since been consolidated and is effectively a duopoly between Kazakhtelecom and Beeline Kazakhstan. Both operators have developed extensive LTE infrastructure to support mobile broadband services and have trialled 5G though commercial launches are not anticipated until 2021.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.
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