Kyrgyz state-owned mobile network operator MegaCom has won a contract to partner government-backed incumbent national fixed line operator Kyrgyztelecom’s KT Mobile subsidiary in developing nationwide cellular services. The deal will essentially enable KT Mobile to launch as an MVNO over MegaCom’s network, but the partnership will also see KT Mobile share its long-dormant mobile frequencies to allow MegaCom to upgrade the quality of voice communication and mobile internet access plus expand its network coverage including in remote and hard-to-reach settlements, MegaCom stated on its website. In its announcement, MegaCom (registered as Alfa Telecom) added that it beat two other potential network partners in the contract tender, launched in early November, to become KT Mobile’s operating partner.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Kyrgyztelecom’s KT Mobile subsidiary received a mobile licence in 2002 and GSM 900MHz/1800MHz frequencies in 2006, but repeatedly retracted plans to roll out cellular infrastructure or services. Nonetheless, under the telco’s 2016-2020 development programme it tabled proposals to develop 4G mobile services. In a H1 2017 report it added that it had ‘launched the project’ for establishing ‘mobile network and data transmission’ services via KT Mobile although there were no further announcements that year on actual progress. Kyrgyztelecom proposed four options for KT Mobile’s business: independent construction and development of a cellular network; MVNO launch; RAN sharing with existing operators; or ‘other’ (hybrid) joint venture type.