Kazakhstan has become the first country in Central Asia to commercially launch fifth-generation (5G) services last Friday as it rolled out the latest wireless technology in Shymkent, the third most populous city in Kazakhstan behind Almaty and Nur-Sultan.
Beeline has become the first of the country’s network coverage providers to roll out 5G.
“The entire central part of the Shymkent city is now covered by a fifth-generation network,” said Oleg Snimshikov, a technical director at Beeline Kazakhstan, according to a report by Vlast.kz.
The newly launched network covers about 13 square kilometers and is based on Nokia produced equipment consisting of three base stations and backbone network equipment. Communication specialists from Beeline believe this is enough for speed tests and measurements of signal propagation both outside and indoors. Testing will be held until December, which is expected to result in a comprehensive report to help the country expand the network.
Earlier this year, the government of Kazakhstan announced plans to launch a 5G network in all settlements with a population of over 50,000 people. Meanwhile, officials said the network will be inaccessible for individuals at the initial stage of the introduction.
“5G technology could develop industrial solutions, optimize costs, and automate the production process. Thus, the state, business and various enterprises will be the first and main customer of this technology,” said Evgeniy Nastradin, CEO at Beeline Kazakhstan.
5G can offer 20 times faster data speeds than 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks and better support for artificial intelligence and virtual reality with low latency, giving impetus to the Kazakh government’s plans.
But local communication specialists said the network will most likely come online in Kazakhstan not earlier than 2020, adding that modernized technology infrastructure and significant investment are something to look forward to.
“Before launching this technology in every city, our government and state bodies should ensure equal access to frequencies for all operators,” the head of Beeline Kazakhstan said, adding that expanding the network across the country will require millions of dollars.
South Korea was among the first countries in the world to launch 5G commercial services as the technology was already available for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Meanwhile, Russia has become the first Caspian nation to launch 5G services in 2018 during the World Cup. Megafon, one of the Russian network operators used Nokia 5G equipment to display VR Broadcasts.
Earlier this year, Megafon and Chinese Huawei teamed up to develop and implement 5G standards in Russia in accordance with the agreement signed between China and Russia at the 2019 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Azerbaijan’s first mobile operator, Bakcell, displayed the 4.5 G Pro technology and 5G readiness at the BakuTel 2017 exhibition for the first time in Azerbaijan. During Bakutel 2018, Bakcell presented a mobile internet speed of up to 600 Mbps. Thus, this speed provided by means of the 4.5G technology, also called the “5G readiness” was demonstrated at Bakcell stand for the first time in Azerbaijan.
Bakcell offers the fastest mobile network in Azerbaijan, according to Ookla's Speedtest Awards, which ranked the mobile operator number one in the country. Bakcell announced that the company is ready to introduce 5G, as soon as the demand for such technologies emerges on the market. At the same time, the company believes that this requires a wider penetration of 5G-enabled devices and therefore.