Ericsson and Kcell Plan 5G Rollout in Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan’s largest operator Kcell has drafted in Ericsson for a seven year partnership to deploy 5G across the country.

The partnership envisions a roadmap spanning 2023 to 2030, and will see Ericsson deploy 5G equipment over at least 50% of Kazakhstan’s territory, including key regions such as Almaty and Shymkent

The firms have opted for a single RAN approach for the deployment, which involves the integration of 5G into the existing 2G, 3G and 4G infrastructure, which is supposed to maximise the use of network resources and simplify the transition to the new technology.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) plugged into the new 5G network was cited as an additional potential benefit for areas of the country where it is not physically possible to lay internet cables due to complex terrain.

“In addition, the transition to 5G makes it possible the creation of a stack of technological platforms around which ecosystems are formed, and the telecom operator becomes a provider of platform services implemented by these technological platforms and provided to ecosystem partners,” said Askhat Uzbekov, CEO at Kcell. “The operator can create and provide digital services itself, i.e., it can be a provider of end services as it is now, but it will create these services much faster and in much greater quantity and diversity than it does today. And I think cooperation with Ericsson will allow us to realize all these opportunities in the most efficient and seamless way.”

Andrea Missori, Head of South East Mediterranean and Eurasia, Ericsson, added: “We are excited to extend our partnership with Kcell as it marks a significant milestone towards positioning Kazakhstan at the forefront of Eurasia telecommunications innovation. We are building a network of the future that will not only offer superior connectivity for Kcell customers but also deliver an innovation platform that can help to transform industries and pave the way to a more connected digital society, fostering economic growth and societal advancement.”

Country-wide deployment wins like this will be no doubt welcome when considering the general health of global RAN market. The latest figures from Dell’Oro claim that following the ‘intense ramp-up’ from 2017 through 2021, global RAN revenues stabilized in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, however as market conditions worsened they declining at their fastest pace in nearly seven years during Q2 of this year.

Source : Telecoms