Information communication and technology (ICT) is an important and rapidly emerging sector of the Mongolian economy (ESCAP, 2019). Between 2017 and 2018, the number of mobile telecommunication subscribers in the country increased by 10.5%, the number of mobile broadband subscribers increased by 20.8% and the number of fixed internet subscribers increased by 7.3%. The fibre-optic network deployment increased by 2.5 times from 2001 to 2017, covering over 38,000km. This allowed parts of the rural population living in remote territories to access high speed internet and mobile connectivity. According to an ESCAP assessment, a 10% increase in broadband access leads to a 1% increase in the GDP and doubling the average broadband speed can increase the country’s GDP by 0.3% (ESCAP, 2020).
Mongolia set the goal to provide internet coverage for 70% of the population by 2020, 90% of the population by 2025 and 95% of the population by 2030 (Mongolia Sustainable Development Vision 2030, 2016). However, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication, ICT Indicators Database, the percentage of individuals using internet in Mongolia in 2019 was 51.1%, just below the global average of 51.4% (ITU, 2020). Data collected by DataReportal in 2021 indicated 294,000 new internet users in Mongolia between 2020 and 2021. This would make a total internet coverage of 61% of the population in January 2021 (DataReportal, 2021).
For more information, please download the paper.