ASTANA – Kazakh officials discussed the progress of projects to provide broadband Internet access and introduce 5G and equally high-quality data centres in both urban and rural areas at the Aug. 14 government meeting.
“Providing broadband Internet access is not our only requirement. We must not lag behind [the rest of the developed world]; the necessary documents are adopted and all the solutions are available. This is the imperative of the time, on the agendas of many states. We only need to actively work,” said Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagyntayev.
Slow Internet, especially throughout the regions, is the main problem not only for businesses but the population in general. He instructed the Ministry of Information and Communications to take measures ensuring high-speed Internet and assigned Deputy Prime Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev to control the process.
Zhumagaliyev stressed work on providing rural broadband Internet access is currently being completed and plans will be available by the end of this year. Pilot mode 5G introduction is planned for 2019.
“We studied the most advanced experience, including countries such as Great Britain and Estonia. We will develop data centres to store data and process it. Programmes to provide broadband Internet will be kept under strict control,” he said.
The “Provision of broadband access to rural communities of the Republic of Kazakhstan in fibre-optic communication technology” project will eliminate digital inequality between urban and rural areas. It will allow connecting state authorities and budgetary institutions to telecommunication services in 1,249 rural settlements using fibre-optic communication technology with a communication capacity of at least 50 Mbits per second.
5G will provide a speed 40 times faster than 4G technology and should be enough to view a video file in 3D and download a movie in just six seconds. It is expected to reduce signal delays, as well as facilitate remote operations in real time, agricultural machinery management, field monitoring and industrial robot speed.
Introducing 5G mobile communication will be possible after its standards are adopted by the International Telecommunication Union, noted Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev. To date, frequency selection works to test 5G mobile communications have been carried out in the capital, Almaty as well as the Akmola and Almaty regions.
Kazakhtelecom plans to provide broadband Internet access to 6,212 rural settlements with a population of 7,622,927 by the end of 2021.
“The total number of fibre-optic lines that will be built in the next three years is 14,217 km. There are plans to connect 2,496 state bodies to them. The average cost of investment is about 50 billion tenge (US$137.7 million),” said company chair of the board Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev.
Kazakhtelecom confirmed one of the vendors was ready to provide the equipment and software necessary to begin 5G testing, he added.
The focus on advancing digital technologies is part of the Digital Kazakhstan state programme to accelerate the pace of economic development and improve citizens’ quality of life.