Kcell demonstrates the power of 5G technology at the 5G KcellRun marathon

Kcell, the country’s largest mobile operator, chose an original way to demonstrate the capabilities and potential of fifth-generation communications technology. Simultaneously, hundreds of residents and guests of Astana and Turkestan were once again able to test the speed and quality characteristics of 5G during a large-scale marathon 5G KcellRun. This technology made it possible to connect runners in two cities via teleconference without delays, interference and so-called freezes typical for such live broadcasts. With this unusual run, Kcell kicked off the events dedicated to the company’s 25th anniversary.

Over a thousand of fans of sport and physical education, supporters of a healthy and active lifestyle have joined the first technological marathon of this kind which took place in two cities at the same time. This Saturday morning of the last day of September, the athletes, divided into different age categories, had to run 5 or 10 kilometres in the capital’s Botanical Garden and Zhibek Zholy Park in Turkestan. The marathon participants were able to test their strength and skills, have fun and enjoy their time together, and the fastest and most enduring runners could win a solid cash prize from the 10 million tenge worth of a prize pool.

“Kcell has always positioned itself and was perceived by its current and potential customers as one of the most technologically advanced and innovative companies in the country. Therefore, it is no coincidence that we chose such a non-standard format to hold the race and to show the residents and guests in both cities who joined our marathon the opportunities that the new 5G communication technology opens up. As you know, Kcell and MTS are working intensely to rollout the fifth-generation network across the country. We have installed hundreds of base stations already and currently, in addition to Astana, Almaty and Shymkent, residents of Turkestan, Kostanay, Karaganda and Semey have access to 5G network, as well,” said Askhat Uzbekov, Chairman of Management Board of Kcell JSC, as he kicked off the marathon.

In December last year, a consortium of operators, including Kcell, won the 5G frequency auction and committed to deploy over 7,000 5G base stations across the country by 2027. According to Kcell’s analysts, by 2027 about 80% of the population of Kazakhstan will have access to next-generation communication services, and the gradual development of the 5G industry ecosystem will not only change the landscape of cellular communication in the country, but will also have a significant impact on the country’s economy and the quality of life of its population thanks to the unique digital opportunities, development of innovations and technologies, acceleration of transformation processes in all spheres and much more.

“I am confident that in the next 5-10 years, the 5G communication standard will be the main technology for the development of mobile communications in our country. As for Kcell, our development strategy is now focused on two directions – modernization and updating our network infrastructure, and entering new and related industries and fields, such as Fintech, IoT and expanding our ecosystem, rather than just being a telco. We have been on this journey – from a company offering only voice and SMS services to a multi-product telecoms operator – for a quarter of a century now. This year we are celebrating our 25th birthday and the marathon is timed to coincide with our anniversary. We have also decided to give up on other events and focus on social and sports projects that benefit our customers and the community at large. We are moving towards offering our customers triple-play services, that is multiple services at the same time – high-speed Internet, digital TV and communication services,” said Askhat Uzbekov.

Participants in the 5G KcellRun marathon were able to use the new technology and were impressed with all three of the main components of modern telecommunications services that demand quality of communication.

Quote from a marathon participant:

Many people were obviously surprised by the quality of the streaming video, which was transmitted via teleconference between Astana and Turkestan. It seemed like the marathon was taking place on two different streets rather than in two cities that are 1,500 kilometres apart. And it was the effect of presence that did not allow the marathon runners in the capital or in Turkestan to give up or abandon the race. As a result of the uncompromising struggle for prizes, Baltabek Alimzhan was the first to cross the finish line of the 10-kilometer race, and among women, Elemesova Gulnur. At a distance of 5 kilometers, the champion was Eva Pinchuk, among men Dmitry Adamovich.

Media Office of Kcell JSC

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Member of the Management Board, Chief Finance Officer

Damir Mullashev graduated from Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Forecasting (KIMEP) in 2003. His professional experience spans 20 years in financial sector, of which 13 years in leadership roles. He started his career in the banking sector, where he worked in an investment bank since 2007 and since 2013 in a private equity fund. In 2016 he moved to the telecommunications industry and took up the role of Head of External Asset Management Service at Kazakhtelecom JSC. He has extensive experience in corporate finance (M&A), telecom asset management, as well as debt and equity financing. In September 2022, Damir Mullashev joined Kcell JSC as Deputy Chief Finance Officer and in December 2022 he was appointed acting Chief Finance Officer.

Member of the Management Board, Chief Commercial Officer

Olga Tsoi holds a master's degree in business administration from KIMEP University. She has 17 years of work experience in the commercial sector in various industries, of which 13 years in leadership roles, including 3 years in FMCG and retail, 8 years in telecom, 3 years in consulting (FinTech and InsuranceTech) and 3 years in the banking sector. In 2023, Olga was appointed Director of Consumer Department of Kcell JSC.

Daniyar Ibrayev graduated from the Military Institute under NSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan (currently the Border Force Academy under NSC) in 2000 with a degree in Telecommunications Engineering. In 2007, he graduated from the Kazakh Humanitarian Law University (Nur-Sultan), with a Bachelor of Law degree. Since 2020, he has worked at Kcell JSC as an Adviser to the Strategic Development Department, then as a Chief Expert of the Security Department. Since 2017, he has worked at The Unified Pension Savings Fund JSC and prior to that he worked in government bodies.

Kirill Strashenko graduated from the Almaty Institute of Energy and Communications in 2004, majoring in Telecommunication Engineering. From 2004 to 2016, he has held various positions at Kcell JSC, from a Data Transmission Systems Engineer to Manager of Data Transmission Systems Section. From 2016 to 2018, he has held the position of Network and IT Infrastructure Manager, and was also appointed as Project Manager for the Unified LTE Network Construction project (a joint project with Kar-Tel LLP). He was appointed Deputy Technical Director (2018-2021) and later Network Development Manager (2021-May 2022). In 2019, he was awarded the state award "Kurmetty Bailanyshy”.

Member of the Management Board, Chief Corporate Director

Mr. Uisumbayev was appointed Chief Corporate Officer and a member of the Management Board since April 15, 2022.

Azamat Uisumbayevfor the last 12 years, he has worked in the group of companies of Kazakhtelecom JSC in various positions, including Managing Director - Financial Controller of Kazakhtelecom JSC and Commercial Director of KT Cloud Lab LLP. Prior to joining the telecommunications industry, he worked in government bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Higher education in the specialties - economic and legal. He has a master's degree from MPA&MBA, RANEPA, Moscow. Successfully completed an advanced training course at the Moscow School of Management “Skolkovo” under the program of additional professional education "Leaders of Digital Transformation". Currently studying under the Executive MBA program at Nazarbayev University.

Member of the Management Board, Chief Digital Development Officer

Malik Amardinovin 2008 graduated from the Academy of Banking of the Kazakhstan Alatau University, Faculty of Finance, in 2016 graduated from the Kazakhstan Engineering and Technology University, Faculty of Higher Technical Education. Total work experience - 16 years in IT, 12 of them in senior positions in the banking sector. Most recent positions are Executive Director and Chief IT Architect of Fortebank, where Malik successfully led all IT development.

Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer

Askhat Uzbekov elected to the position of Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer of Kcell JSC, effective May 11, 2022.

Askhat Uzbekov graduated from Turan University (Kazakhstan) in 2000 majoring in International Economics. In 2022, he took his Executive MBA from London Business School. Until 2005, Askhat Uzbekov worked in the tax and audit departments at Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP, and for the next seven years, until early 2012, he has held various positions in the Treasury Department of KazMunayGas Exploration Production JSC. Then for almost 2 more years, until December 2014, he worked as CFO at KMG EP International (Netherlands).

In January 2015, Askhat Uzbekov joined Kazakhtelecom JSC, the largest national telecom operator, as Finance Director. In March 2015 he was appointed Managing Director - Chief Treasurer of Kazakhtelecom JSC. In January 2016, his job responsibilities were expanded to include the duties of a financial controller of the Kazakhtelecom group of companies. From September 2016 up to the present, he has held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the company. Askhat Uzbekov was actively involved in the acquisition of the 75% stake in Kcell JSC in 2018.

Member of the Kcell Board of Directors since May 19, 2022.

Representative of shareholder Kazakhtelecom JSC

Since 2019, Ms. Kishkimbayeva has been the Managing Director for Legal Affairs and Risks of Kazakhtelecom JSC. Ms. Kishkimbayeva graduated from the Adilet Higher School of Law with a degree in Law, as well as the Kazakh State University of World Languages (English language department).

Ms. Kishkimbayeva has extensive experience in the telecommunications as well as oil infrastructure. Her previous work experience includes Kcell JSC, PetroKazakhstan Inc., KASP CJSC AralParker.

Member of the Kcell Board of Directors since May 19, 2022.

Representative of shareholder Kazakhtelecom JSC

Member of the Kcell Board of Directors since May 19, 2022. On May 19, 2022, at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders  was re-elected for 3 years. 

Mr. Lezgovko has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Since 1999, he has worked at Kazakhtelecom JSC. From 2007 to 2021, he has held the position of the Chief Technical Director at Kazakhtelecom JSC.

Mr. Lezgovko graduated from the Almaty Energy Institute with a degree in Automatic Telecommunications. In 2005, he was awarded the title of ‘Kurmetti Baylanysshy’.

In 2012, he was awarded the Kurmet order.

Member of the Kcell Board of Directors since May 19, 2022.

Independent director

Mr. Kivikko has many years of experience in the telecommunications industry, where he has held senior positions at TeliaSonera and Tele2. He also worked as Managing Director of Paroc Owens Corning Insulation Materials in Russia. He is currently the Managing Director at Fexcon Consulting.

Mr. Kivikko holds a Master's degree in Management Accounting and Business Law and Marketing from the School of Economics and Business Administration (University of Turku) Turku, Finland.

Member of the Board of Directors since January 15, 2019.

Independent director

Member of the Board of Directors since January 15, 2019. On May 19, 2022, at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders  was re-elected for 3 years.

Mr. Calmes has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications, wholesale and retail business with a particular focus on emerging markets. From December 2016 to June 2019, he was the CEO of Metro Cash & Carry Russia. Prior to that, Mr. Calmes held various senior positions in the telecommunications sector, including CEO of Tele2 Russia, Managing Director of Wind Telecomunicazioni, Managing Director of the Moscow office of VEON JSC. Mr. Calmes holds a bachelor's degree in Political science and Economics from Bates University, Maine, USA, and has also completed the Wharton School of Business Executive Development Program.

Member of the Board of Directors since January 25, 2019.

Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Member of the Board of Directors since January 25, 2019. On May 19, 2022, at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders  was re-elected for 3 years.

Mr. Buyanov is also an independent director of Kazakhtelecom JSC and Director at Bengala Investments S.A. From 2002 to 2014, he has held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and has been a member of the Management Board of Sistema OJSC – an investment fund listed on the London Stock Exchange.

From 2014 to 2016, he has held the position of Managing Director and Head of the Investment Committee of Redline Capital Management S.A. Mr. Buyanov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) with a degree in Applied Physics and Mathematics, and completed Oxford Fintech Program by Said Business School, University of Oxford.