Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020 Update History
Report Pages: 89
Analyst: Phil Harpur
Of all the former Soviet republics, Tajikistan’s telecommunications infrastructure was arguably the least developed. With a telecom network that was near total collapse, the government had the daunting task of bringing it up to modern standards. Despite the launch of 4G/LTE services, the overall the telecom sector has continued to struggle. Tajikistan still has one of the lowest fixed-line penetrations in the Asian region and one of the lowest broadband levels of broadband penetration.
Tajikistan’s mobile sector has been on a strong growth path for over a decade. It continues to be the standout feature of the country’s telecom industry. However, as the market has moved closer to a saturation phase there has been an inevitable slowing in the growth rate. By 2019 Tcell claimed to have the widest 4G coverage in Tajikistan, having reached seven major cities plus several other towns by the end of 2017. Moderate growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to strong local competition and a further maturing market.
There are five major operators in the market: Tcell, Babilon Mobile, MegaFon, Tacom / Beeline and TK Mobile. Tcell has the largest overall market share, followed by Babilon Mobile, Megafon, Tacom / Beeline and TK Mobile.
VEON completed the sale of Tacom, to its local investment partner ZET Mobile Ltd. VEON had been looking at an exit from Tajikistan’s mobile sector since for some time over concerns at the country’s erratic taxation system, which had badly impacted on profitability in prior recent years.
Fixed broadband penetration in Tajikistan remains extremely low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines as well as the dominance of the mobile platform. Market penetration has only grown marginally over the last five years from a very small base. Over the next five years to 2023 growth is expected to continue but overall market penetration will remain extremely low.
Tajikistan has seen a strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past four years however the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development and penetration remains relatively low compared to other Asian nations. Very strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The mobile broadband market will be driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers, increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out their 4G networks and improving tariffs due to strong competition.
Tajikstan is ranked 31st with a Telecoms Maturity Index score of 12. This places it in the Market Emergents category. BuddeComm’s “Asian Telecoms Maturity Index”, is an index (on a scale between 0 and 100) that measures and ranks the relative maturity of the telecoms industry in all of the 34 countries in Asia). Compared to other Asian nations, it has very low fixed-broadband penetration and very low mobile broadband penetration.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.
Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.
Dominic Schipano, CITT
BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.
For more details, please see:
A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.
Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.