Kazakh cellco Tele2-Altel (Mobile Telecom Service), a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-backed Kazakhtelecom, has opened up a fledgling 5G network for free user access in a limited central zone of Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty, based on test frequencies. The Tele2 Kazakhstan brand website says that 5G network coverage is now live in the area of Panfilov street from the Gatob opera house/theatre to Karasai Batyr street, and several 5G handsets are available from Xiaomi, Huawei and Viva, with the range of devices to be expanded ‘in the near future’. The site states that 5G average speeds can be expected at around 150Mbps-200Mbps while peak speeds can reach over 1Gbps. The Altel brand website does not currently mention the 5G development.
Speaking to Profit.kz, Sergey Konkov, general director at Tele2 Kazakhstan, confirmed: ‘Our first locations in the country with a 5G user network are located in the city of Almaty. We have provided coverage on Panfilov street from Gatob to Karasai Batyr street, and the Kaisar Plaza business centre [shopping mall]. The number of 5G zones and coverage will expand over time. Also, work is underway to increase the number of device models with support for 5G technology, in terms of obtaining manufacturer’s certificates.’ Tele2 users are initially being allowed unlimited internet usage in the 5G test zone, with no restrictions on data traffic volume or access speed, whilst another coverage zone is currently being deployed at the Medeo ice rink/sports complex near Almaty.