Uzbek state-backed cellco Universal Mobile Systems (UMS) began a phased rebranding under the Mobiuz banner at the start of 2019, UzDaily reports. The operator noted that the rebranding forms part of a transformation strategy after undergoing an ownership reshuffle and gaining new incentives for developing and refocusing its services. At the end of November 2018 UMS was transferred under the government’s newly-founded Fund for Support of Digital Economy Development (‘Digital Trust Fund’), itself controlled by the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM). Furthermore, that month UMS was granted direct access rights to international telecommunications networks (internet/data and voice including IP telephony) via presidential decree, in line with an international network access liberalisation policy contained in the Strategy for Innovative Development of Uzbekistan for 2019-2021.
UMS has been tasked with the phased provision of ‘complete coverage’ of Uzbekistan’s territory, whilst also being handed responsibility for operating and developing digital public services, government mobile communications and a cryptographically protected national ‘UzChat’ instant messaging service. In addition, the Unified National Project Management Information System and public sector blockchain solutions are being developed on UMS’ platforms, enabling e-government systems, public administration information systems and the unification of state policy in the digital field.