The telecommunications sector in Kazakhstan is one of the most advanced in the North and Central Asia region. Significant efforts have been made to develop the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure with existing fibre-optic communications lines located along main highways and major cities. Telecommunications services are generally affordable, and as a result, a relatively high percentage of its population has access to broadband services.
Some main telecommunications trends observed are:
• A decline in the number of fixed-line subscribers due to the dominance of the mobile segment;
• A reduction in mobile cellular subscribers as the mobile market reaches saturation point;
• A decrease in the number of active SIM cards;
• An increase in the number of mobile Internet users, driven by a mature mobile market;
• A growth in mobile Internet penetration; and
• A rise in the number of personal computers and smartphones.
These trends have increased access to the Internet and raised demand for telecommunications services, which requires the building and expansion of the fibre-optic network to deliver broadband connectivity, particularly in rural areas. Given the country’s vast territory and low population density, with almost half of the population living in rural areas, the provision of broadband access to all is a challenge.