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