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Kyrgyzstan - Telecoms, Mobile & Internet

The Kyrgyzstan - Telecoms, Mobile & Internet report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation. Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.

Executive summary

The telecommunications market in Kyrgyzstan has been opened up to both foreign and domestic investors in accordance with requirements set down by the WTO. Under the terms of the WTO accession, full liberalisation of the telecoms market had been expected to be achieved by end-2006. According to the ITU, Kyrgyzstan had implemented full competition across all segments of its telecoms sector by 2007. The telecom sector has been part of the final phase of a large scale privatisation program that has been underway in the country since 1992. Since the start of market reforms in 1991, the state telecommunications agency, Kyrgyztelecom has been expanding and upgrading its legacy telecom network, which was outdated and poorly distributed. With moderate expansion of the telecoms sector, upgraded standards have been adopted and a new regulatory authority instituted to oversee the sector. Kyrgyztelecom was restructured as a public corporation in 1997 and the government has been working towards a partial sale to the private sector. Around 10% of the company quickly passed into private hands. By end-2008 the government was still holding almost 78% of Kyrgyztelecom.

Private operators, which actively operate in the mobile market and in the provision of Internet services, have been investing heavily in the relevant infrastructure. With four mobile networks in operation, the two big GSM operators - Bitel and MegaCom - have been dominating the market, between them claiming 86% of the total mobile subscriber base by March 2009. Since the first GSM network was launched in 1998, the number of mobile subscribers has grown rapidly from a few thousand in 1999 to around 3.7 million in early 2009. The number of mobile subscribers having jumped by a remarkable 127% in 2007, the growth eased somewhat in 2008 to deliver an annual rate of 66% for that year. Into 2009, growth in the country’s mobile market continued to moderate as the penetration approached 70%. Nevertheless, there were positive indications that the market would continue to expand for some time yet. Key highlights:

  • By early 2009 mobile penetration in Kyrgyzstan was approaching 70%, with subscriber numbers having increased fourfold in a little over two years;
  • After very strong growth in 2007/08, the country’s mobile subscriber base was still expanding at an annual rate of about 40% coming into 2009; Fixed-line penetration in Kyrgyzstan had passed 9% by early 2009; however, the annual growth rate for fixed lines was running at less than 3%;
  • The conversion of the country’s fixed network from analogue was moving slowly, with just over 60% digital by 2008, up from just 37% in 2004;
  • Kyrgyzstan’s Internet usage has undergone a healthy expansion over the last few years, with user penetration reported at about 16% coming into 2009;
  • On the other hand, actual Internet subscriptions are relatively low in Kyrgyzstan (less than 1% penetration), with the local population making extensive use of public Internet access (cybercafés, etc).
Broadband Internet access was almost non-existent;

According to the ITU, Kyrgyzstan has implemented full competition across all segments of its telecoms sector.Kyrgyzstan - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009 Category20082009 (e)

Fixed-line services:

Total number of subscribers495,000510,000
Annual growth3%3%
Fixed-line penetration (population)9.1%9.4%

Total number of subscribers39,00060,000
Annual growth100%54%
Internet subscriber penetration (population)0.7%1.1%
Mobile services:

Total number of subscribers (million)3.6 4.5
Annual growth68%26%
Mobile penetration (population)66%83%
(Source: BuddeComm)
This report provides an overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications markets in Kyrgyzstan. Subjects covered include:

Key Statistics;
Market and Industry Overviews;
Major Operators (Mobile and Fixed);
Regulatory Environment;
Mobile Market - Voice and Data;
Internet Market.

  • Executive summary
    • Table Kyrgyzstan - key telecom parameters - 2008 - 2009
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Kyrgyzstan - 2009
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2008
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2009
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2009
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2009
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market
    • Overview of Kyrgyzstan's telecoms market
    • Government projects
  • Regulatory environment
    • Regulatory authority
      • Kyrgyz National Communications Agency
    • Privatisation of Kyrgyztelecom
  • Fixed network operators in Kyrgyzstan
    • Kyrgyztelecom
    • Others
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • National telecom network
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1991 - 2011
    • International infrastructure
  • Internet market
    • Overview
      • Internet statistics
        • Table Internet users - 1998 - 2011
        • Table Internet subscribers - 1998 - 2011
        • Table Broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2010
    • ISP market
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Kyrgyzstan's mobile market
      • Table Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate - 1998 - 2011
      • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
    • Major mobile operators
      • MegaCom (BiMoCom Ltd)
      • Bitel/Sky Mobile
      • Aktel
      • Katel

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