The first 5G city is launching in Kazakhstan

Almaty, 14 December 2021 – Kcell Joint Stock Company (“Kcell” or the “Company”) (KASE, AIX: KCEL), one of the leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in Kazakhstan, announces that Kcell and Ericsson have entered into a Strategic Agreement of Intent to accelerate the development of 5G technologies in Kazakhstan. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies are opening a new milestone in the development of advanced technologies in the country – the first pre-commercial 5G zone in Turkestan city.

The official launch of the first 5G city in Kazakhstan is taking place in Turkestan, the capital of the Turkic world. A large-scale project within the framework of the partnership is being implemented by the digital operator Kcell and Ericsson, the world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment.

Yuri Kharlamov, Kcell CEO:

“The launch of 5G in Kazakhstan will boost digital economy development. A new generation network will accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), the smart city concept, cloud computing, and Big Data. Today, there are 8 fully functioning outdoor stations, which cover the entire historical center of Turkestan.  These are strategically important and tourist objects of the city: the city Akimat, Congress Hall, Turkestan Arena stadium, bus station, Farab Central Library, Batyr Youth Palace, etc. In addition to outdoor, it is planned to install indoor sites in important tourist objects, such as the airport, Kcell Subscriber Service Center, Rixos hotel. Already today, Kcell and activ subscribers will be able to connect to the 5G network from most smartphone models that support data transmission in a new generation network.”

For Kazakhstan, this is the first launch of an entire city with 5G coverage, a new generation telecommunications standard, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. It became possible thanks to the developed infrastructure of Kazakhtelecom JSC.

According to Timur Khudaiberdiyev, a member of the Board of Kazakhtelecom JSC: “The group of companies, after multiple 5G testing, once again confirms the status of the technology industry leader. 5G technologies provide higher bandwidth, create ultra-reliable large-scale communication systems between devices, and also guarantee a shorter signal delay time. This technology will change business, cities, healthcare, and the public sector. For Turkestan, this is a new milestone in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, elements of a “smart city” with the ability to make management decisions based on big data analysis and the building of “smart industries”, the activities of which will be fully automated. Such a technological breakthrough became possible thanks to the effective cooperation of Kazakhtelecom Group with Ericsson.”

Mobile technologies have already become an integral part of our life and work. The pandemic, in turn, has accelerated digitalization in many areas. Over the past 10 years, mobile traffic has grown 300 times, and 5G technology is becoming the fastest developing technology in the history of communications. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021, by the end of 2027, there will be 4.4 billion connections in 5G networks — almost half of all mobile connections in the world.

Today telecommunications is one of the important objects of state infrastructure. Its development will allow meeting the growing needs of society, business and industry. A whole ecosystem is being formed around the 5G network, and technologies based on a new generation of communication will develop rapidly in the coming years. 5G technologies will be in demand both among subscribers and at manufacturing enterprises for the introduction of various types of management and control, equipment monitoring and process automation.

“Within the framework of long-term cooperation, we are pleased to support Kcell on the way to introducing the latest 5G telecommunications technologies. In the future, 5 years in the area of 5G networks, fifth-generation communications will account for about 50% of mobile connections and 62% of global smartphone traffic. The joint project with Kcell will become the technical basis for further development of the digital ecosystem in Kazakhstan and will increase the availability of the latest technologies for both subscribers and businesses,” said Anatoly Ilyich, Vice President for Development of Radio and Transport Networks in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region of the Ericsson company.

Ericsson has a full range of technical solutions for implementation of 5G networks, as well as expertise in their implementation and integration. Thanks to the latest Ericsson Radio System equipment and other innovative developments of Ericsson, the Kcell network is ready to launch new services. 5G coverage inside buildings will be provided through the Ericsson Radio DOT System solution, which allows increasing the network bandwidth several times and reduce the number of communication interruptions to zero.


Investor Relations 
Irina SholTel: +7 727 2582755 ext.

Company Overview

Kcell is a national provider of the digital telecommunications services: mobile and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services, data transmission and Internet access, financial services, digital services and mobile applications, IT solutions in the field of system integration, the Internet of things, machine-to-machine connectivity, collection and processing of big data and cloud computing. Kcell is also a leading mobile operator in Kazakhstan providing the ‘smartphone+tariff’ service.

Kcell has become the largest digital ecosystem in Kazakhstan with a competitive advantage through its value-added services such as mobile financial services, mobile TV, online movies, music, books and magazines, as well as unique solutions for business customers. The company holds leading positions in the B2B market thanks to its strategy of vertical infrastructure solutions and development and implementation of the cutting-edge technologies. The company’s 4G/LTE network covers 67.5% of the country’s population and provides high quality services.

The company operates under its two brands – Kcell and activ that are widely recognized in our highly competitive telecom market due to the high quality of customer service. Thanks to its clear multi-brand architecture, Kcell increases its business efficiency in the B2C segment. 

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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.