Publication Date: December 2023
Report Pages: 132
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
Mongolia‘s liberalised and competitive telecoms market comprises of a number of operators which over the years have steadily eroded the dominance of the incumbent telco, Mongolia Telecom.
Fixed-line penetration increased steadily through to 2018 as more people took on fixed-line access to make calls and to access copper-based broadband services. However, the number of lines fell in 2019, and again in 2020, partly through the economic consequences of the pandemic and partly due to the migration to the mobile platform and to VoIP. Recovery was swift, however, with strong growth in 2021 and 2022 as several operators extended the reach of their copper and fibre networks.
The low number of fixed broadband subscribers has long been associated with the limited reach of the country’s fixed-line infrastructure outside Ulaanbaatar. As a result, internet access is chiefly via the mobile platform. Although mobile networks provide a viable option for operators, particularly considering the low spectrum range deployed in remote areas, the gradual expansion of fibre infrastructure has extended the reach of fixed-line connectivity in recent years. As with the fixed-line sector, the number of fixed-broadband subscriptions fell in 2020 in the wake of the pandemic-related economic conditions, though growth since then has been considerable, including a 14.9% increase in 2022 alone.
Mobile broadband remains a key component of the telecoms landscape, underpinning overall sector growth. LTE services are more widely available, and in late 2022 these were complemented by the launch of 5G. Although geographically limited, the steady expansion of 5G in coming years will help shape the future growth of Mongolia’s developing digital economy. The newly licensed mobile network operator ONDO is among the key players looking to bring the technology to market.
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