Hot on the heels of its tie-up with former mobile rival Altel, Tele2 Kazakhstan has announced the launch of 4G LTE services in a number of districts. The cellco says that, following successful testing of the network, LTE-based services have been introduced in parts of Astana, Almaty, Akmola, South Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Karagandy, Kostanay and North Kazakhstan. Rollouts to other areas will follow later this month. The switch-on comes after the government’s decision at the start of this year to allow technology neutrality, meaning wireless spectrum can be used for 2G, 3G or 4G services. Altel was previously the only firm in Kazakhstan to provide LTE-based services, having switched on its high speed networks in December 2012.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate yesterday, the Kazakh wireless market’s two smallest players, Tele2 and Altel, have combined under a joint venture which is co-owned by their respective parent companies, Tele2 Group of Sweden and state-backed fixed line provider Kazakhtelecom. The joint venture has created an entity with more than six million subscribers and a market share of around 23%, still well behind market leaders K’cell and KaR-Tel (Beeline) which have shares of approximately 40% and 37% respectively.