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2006 Central Asian Broadband and Internet Markets


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Broadband and Internet markets in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Taijikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Whilst broadband services remain limited across the sub-region, Internet is important and growing. Subjects covered include:

Internet Infrastructure and Developments
Internet policies, models and concepts
Regional and International Networks
Internet Market, VPNs and VoIP
Vision for a National Policy, Government Policies
Network Operators, Wholesalers and Retailers, Utilities Projects
xDSL, HFC, MDS, Satellite, Cable Modems, Cable Telephony
Wireless Broadband


Armenia - ArmenTel was also allowed to retain sole rights to Internet telephony and the use of fibre optic cables. Previously, ArmenTel had been granted exclusive rights to the provision of all telecommunications services in Armenia until 2013 (apart from data services). ArmenTel announced in 2002 that it was increasing its commitment to a US$24 million network upgrade plan. The amended program was expected to eventually provide network coverage to around 85% of Armenia’s population.

The one segment of the market exempt from the ArmenTel monopoly was Internet services. The country’s Internet market is relatively small (penetration 7.5%), but has been developing steadily. However, there are still several major obstacles in the way of improved Internet connectivity. Not unexpectedly, these include poor telecom infrastructure; expensive telephone lines; the high cost of computer equipment relative to an average worker’s salary; political unrest in some regions of the country, which impedes infrastructure reform and intimidates potential sponsors and donors, and a heavy dependence on international funding, making long-range planning difficult.

Azerbaijan - A permanent Internet link was established for Azerbaijan in 1995 through the country’s Academy of Science. The country has had dial-up Internet access since 1991. By 2005, Internet penetration was around 7%.

Georgia - Georgia established a permanent link to the international Internet backbone in 1995, after having had non-permanent, dial-up Internet access since 1991. Internet use remains low (penetration below 5%), but the market has shown growth and strong competition between ISPs. There are only a handful of broadband services in place.

Kazakhstan - Commercial Internet services first became available in Kazakhstan in April 1996. Internet user penetration is less than 5%. Although Internet penetration remains low for the moment, there is increasing interest in going online.

Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyzstan has an Internet user penetration estimated at around 6%, having apparently grown sharply in 2005. This sector of the market has been helped to some extent by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan for education and computers. Access to Internet in Kyrgyzstan, as with other telecom services, has a strong bias towards the urban customer.

Tajikistan’s Internet services began in 1998 with TajikTel serving as the national ISP. A number of other ISPs have since started offering access to the Internet. There were around 6,000 Internet users in Tajikistan in 2005, representing a tiny 0.1% user penetration. Usage growth has been hindered by a number of factors including inadequate telecom infrastructure, the absence of appropriate regulation, no high-speed international communication channels and the very limited availability of personal computers.

Turkmenistan - The Internet arrived in Turkmenistan in 1998. It was provided through an agreement signed in 1996 between the government and international carrier MCI. Internet access has expanded only moderately since then. In a country of almost five million people, there were an estimated 50,000 Internet users at end-2005 (a lowly 1% user penetration).

With the Internet tightly controlled by the government, access remains severely restricted and there has been no real opportunity to develop.

Uzbekistan - The growth of Uzbekistan’s Internet services market has been picking up pace. Despite a range of difficulties, the number of Internet users was estimated to have risen to around one million by end-2005, a user penetration of 4%. Local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) continue to adjust pricing and service plans to make Internet service attractive and affordable for domestic users, thereby ensuring 50% plus growth in the market."

1. OVERVIEW OF THE BROADBAND AND INTERNET MARKETS
1.1 Internet market
1.1.1 Market overview
1.1.2 Cultural and regulatory issues
1.1.3 Internet advertising
1.1.4 Asian Domain Name Dispute-Resolution Centre
1.1.5 Internet access and infrastructure
1.1.6 ISP market
1.1.7 ASP market
1.1.8 Intranets and extranets
1.2 Broadband market
1.2.1 Overview
1.2.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
1.2.3 Cable Modem
1.2.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
1.2.5 Wireless broadband
1.2.6 Satellite Internet
1.2.7 Broadband over Powerline (BPL) services / Powerline Communications (PLC)
1.2.8 Major broadband markets in Asia
2. ARMENIA
2.1 Internet market
2.1.1 Market overview
2.1.2 ISP market
3. AZERBAIJAN
3.1 Internet market
3.1.1 Market overview
3.1.2 ISP market
4. GEORGIA
4.1 Internet market
4.1.1 Market overview
4.1.2 ISP market
5. KAZAKHSTAN
5.1 Internet market
5.1.1 Market overview
5.1.2 ISP market
6. KYRGYZSTAN
6.1 Internet market
6.1.1 Market overview
6.1.2 ISP market
7. TAJIKISTAN
7.1 Internet market
7.1.1 Market overview
8. TURKMENISTAN
8.1 Internet market
8.1.1 Market overview
9. UZBEKISTAN
9.1 Internet market
9.1.1 Market overview
9.1.2 ISP market
10. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
Exhibit 1 - Asia’s broadband market - countries ranked by household penetration - June 2006


Table 1 - Internet user growth in Asia - 1999 - 2006
Table 2 - Top 10 Asian countries by Internet user penetration - December 2005
Table 3 - Internet and broadband subscribers for selected Asian markets - December 2005
Table 4 - International Internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2005
Table 5 - Broadband in Asia - Major markets by subscribers and penetration - 2005/2006
Table 6 - Major broadband access types (by subscribers) - March 2006
Table 7 - Asia’s DSL market - December 2005
Table 8 - DSL subscribers - March 2006
Table 9 - DSL subscribers in Japan - 2000 - 2006
Table 10 - DSL subscribers in South Korea - 1999 - 2006
Table 11 - DSL subscribers in China - 2000 - 2006
Table 12 - PCCW’s DSL subscriber base - December 2005
Table 13 - DSL subscribers in Hong Kong - 1999 - 2006
Table 14 - DSL subscribers in Singapore - 2000 - 2006
Table 15 - DSL subscribers in Taiwan - 2001 - 2006
Table 16 - DSL subscribers in Malaysia - 2001 - 2006
Table 17 - Cable modem subscribers - March 2006
Table 18 - FttH growth in Japan - 2001 - 2006
Table 19 - WiFi hotspots in Asia - 2004; 2005; 2009
Table 20 - South Korea’s broadband subscriber growth - 1998 - 2006
Table 21 - Taiwan’s broadband subscriber growth - 1999 - 2006
Table 22 - Singapore’s broadband subscriber growth - 1999 - 2006
Table 23 - Broadband subscribers and households - February 2006
Table 24 - China’s broadband subscriber growth - 2000 - 2006
Table 25 - Internet provider statistics in Armenia - 2005
Table 26 - Internet user statistics in Armenia - 2005
Table 27 - Internet users in Armenia - 1994 - 2005
Table 28 - Internet host computers in Armenia - 1995 - 2005
Table 29 - Internet provider statistics in Azerbaijan - 2005
Table 30 - Internet user statistics in Azerbaijan - 2004
Table 31 - Internet users in Azerbaijan - 1995 - 2004
Table 32 - Internet host computers in Azerbaijan - 1996 - 2005
Table 33 - Internet provider statistics in Georgia - 2005
Table 34 - Internet user statistics in Georgia - 2005
Table 35 - Internet user growth and penetration in Georgia - 1996 - 2005
Table 36 - Internet host computers in Georgia - 1995 - 2005
Table 37 - Internet provider statistics in Kazakhstan - 2005
Table 38 - Internet user statistics in Kazakhstan - 2005
Table 39 - Internet users in Kazakhstan - 1996; 1998 - 2005
Table 40 - Internet host computers in Kazakhstan - 1994 - 2005
Table 41 - Internet provider statistics in Kyrgyzstan - 2005
Table 42 - Internet user statistics in Kyrgyzstan - 2005
Table 43 - Internet users in Kyrgyzstan - 1998 - 2005
Table 44 - Internet host computers in Kyrgyzstan - 1997 - 2005
Table 45 - Internet provider statistics in Tajikistan - 2006
Table 46 - Internet user statistics in Tajikistan - 2005
Table 47 - Internet users in Tajikistan - 1999 - 2005
Table 48 - Internet host computers in Tajikistan - 1997 - 2005
Table 49 - Internet provider statistics in Turkmenistan - 2005
Table 50 - Internet user statistics in Turkmenistan - 2005
Table 51 - Internet users in Turkmenistan - 1999 - 2005
Table 52 - Internet host computers in Turkmenistan - 1997 - 2005
Table 53 - Internet provider statistics in Uzbekistan - 2005
Table 54 - Internet user statistics in Uzbekistan - March 2006
Table 55 - Internet users in Uzbekistan - 1999 - 2006
Table 56 - Internet host computers in Uzbekistan - 1996 - 2005

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