Kazakhstan - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Communication Technologies
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Kazakhstan continues to upgrade existing infrastructure and integrate ICT into projects implemented in different economic sectors.  In 2017 the government launched the Digital Kazakhstan 2018-2022 program (https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2018-kazakhstan) aimed at improving the country’s digital infrastructure. The Program’s budget is under USD 1 billion and equally divided between the public and private sectors. The program focuses on five key areas: digitization of economic sectors including  energy, transportation, agriculture, e-commerce and financial sectors; transition to a digital state including government services and smart cities; development of high-speed and secure communication networks and IT infrastructure across the country; increasing digital literacy in secondary, technical and vocational higher education; and, providing conditions for the development of technological entrepreneurship, the start-up environment and financing ecosystem. 

To attract foreign investment into the sector,  Kazakhstan officially lifted restrictions on foreign ownership of telecommunications companies in 2022, with the exception of the country’s main communications operator, Kazakhtelecom. 

The total Kazakhstani ICT market in 2021 is roughly estimated at USD 2.3 billion, which represents 3% of GDP, with the telecommunication and information technology markets respectively making up 66% and 34% of the total sector.   In 2021, total revenue from telecommunication services totaled about USD 1.5. billion, including Internet (38%), mobile communications (26%), and the remainder other telecommunication services.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, in 2017 (the latest report available) Kazakhstan ranked 52nd out of 176 countries on the ICT Development Index.  Internet penetration in Kazakhstan is estimated as almost 86% (2022).    In 2021, the number of fixed telephone lines amounted to approximately 2.75 million;  24.5  million mobile subscribers, of which almost 17.5 million have Internet access; and, 2.6  million fixed internet subscribers.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Digital technologies to be used for developing e-government services, smart transportation, city infrastructure, and financial sector applications;     
  • Process automatization technologies for oil and gas, mining, and agriculture industries;
  • Upgrade and extension of existing fixed and mobile networks;
  • Content-rich mobile value-added services;
  • 5G mobile communications technologies;
  • Mobile number portability (MNP) technologies;
  • Internet of Things (IoT) equipment and technologies;
  • Satellite telecommunications technologies.