Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Information Technologies & Communications (MITC) gave an update yesterday (8 June 2020) on the country’s ‘Digital Economy’ 2020 telecoms goals. The MITC reported that in the period of January to early June, 281,000 new fixed broadband internet ports were installed (with equipment for 340,000 ports delivered), towards an annual target of 800,000 new ports. In the mobile sector, the ministry stated that 1,148 new 3G/4G base stations were deployed and put into operation throughout the country in the year to-date – aiming for a total of 2,200 new 3G/4G base stations in FY20 – alongside 1,483 upgrades to existing base stations to provide mobile broadband services. Furthermore, in the same period 6,500km of fibre-optic cabling was installed, out of a total 12,000km expected in full-year 2020, supporting both fixed and mobile network expansion/upgrades.
While the MITC did not mention specific operators in its national progress report, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that state-owned Uzbektelecom is the dominant provider of fixed broadband access, while the government currently owns three of the country’s five mobile network operators – namely Ucell, Uzmobile (Uzbektelecom’s cellular arm) and Mobiuz – all of which are expanding 3G/4G networks. The trio compete against Russian-backed cellco Beeline and smaller CDMA provider Perfectum (itself partly owned by Uzbektelecom). In recent individual announcements, Uzmobile has completed a project to expand LTE to all its existing 2G/3G base station sites in the capital Tashkent as well as other regions, while Mobiuz alone is aiming to install over 1,000 base stations nationwide during 2020.