Turkmenistan Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 8 Mar 2022 Update History

Report Pages: 75

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Early presidential elections in Turkmenistan raise slight hopes of telecom sector reform

The hermit nation of Turkmenistan, which rivals only North Korea for its isolationism, continues to keep its telecom sector – along with the broader populace – under tight control.

The country inched up just one point off the bottom of the world rankings for press and internet freedom in the most recent report from Reporters Without Borders. Most social networks in the country are blocked, although locals do have access to the government-developed Biz Byarde (We Are Here) platform released in 2019. All internet users, however, need to identify themselves before logging on, and strict censorship over what can be viewed is in force. The end result is that Turkmenistan has one of the lowest penetration rates for internet access in the world.

The President of the republic, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, announced early presidential elections for mid-March 2022. There is, therefore, some prospect – admittedly very slim – of a loosening of restrictions on the country’s telecom sector following regime change. But with the President’s son already widely tapped to be the successor, there seems little chance of Turkmenistan moving far away from the bottom of the world’s Telecom Maturity Index any time soon.

This report includes the most recently published government and ITU data on Turkmenistan’s telecom sector, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.

Key developments:

  • Presidential elections announced for March 2022 bring with them some hope of telecom sector reform.
  • Internet access and broadband penetration rates in Turkmenistan remain among the lowest in the world.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

  • Turkmentelecom, TM Cell (Altyn Asyr), Asgabat Säher Telefon Ulgamy (ASTU), MTS Turkmenistan.

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