Tajikistan telecoms, mobile and internet market grows despite challenges, says Research and Markets

Telecom Lead Team:
Tajikistan telecoms, mobile and internet
market is growing by 20 percent a year despite global financial crisis, says a
recent report from Research and Markets.


The report, “Tajikistan – Telecoms, Mobile and Internet”,
finds that Tajikistan’s telecommunications infrastructure, the least developed
of all former Soviet republics, has been facing several challenges like natural
disasters and financial crisis. The government has been trying arduously to
bring the communications infrastructure up to modern standards.


The government started rigorous plans to upgrade the
country’s infrastructure. The Ministry of Communications (MOC) was made
responsible for providing all public communications, including local, national
and international telephone services, as well as postal services, TV and radio


As part of a long-term program, the MOC aimed to build a
national communications system to world standards. The government also laid out
plans to ultimately transfer all responsibilities from the MOC to a new
independent regulatory authority which duly happened.


Telecommunications has become one of the most dynamically
developing sectors within the Tajikistan economy. Although still inadequate,
its contribution to the county’s GDP has been actively growing, as new and
diversified technologies were quickly becoming the norm.


Tajiktelecom, state-owned incumbent operator, continues
to dominate the market. The operator has been providing local, long-distance
and international telephone services throughout the country. In addition, more
than six mobile operators and around 12 ISPs had been licensed. The new
regulatory authority, the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA), was created
in 2005.


Four mobile operators have been granted 3G licenses and
subsequently launched networks which were steadily adding subscribers.


The report finds that by 2011 mobiles in Tajikistan had
reached 80 percent penetration, with subscriber growth running at an annual
rate of around 15 percent while overall mobile subscriber numbers have
increased by a factor of 40 in just six years. In 2007, the country’s mobile
subscriber numbers expanded at annual rate of almost 200 percent.


Fixed line market remained sluggish with
penetration around 5 percent. Compared with the mobile market there is
relatively little growth at the moment.


Although up to date official figures were not available,
by 2011 the conversion of the country’s fixed network from analogue appeared to
have achieved a digital level in excess of 90 percent and the country was well
on the way to achieving its 100 percent target, the report said.


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