Of all the former Soviet republics, Tajikistan’s telecommunications infrastructure was arguably the least developed. With a telecom network that was near total collapse, the government has had the daunting task of bringing it up to modern standards. Telecommunications has become one of the most dynamically developing sectors within the Tajikistan economy. Although still inadequate, its contribution to the county’s GDP has been growing, as new and diversified technologies quickly become the norm. The state-owned incumbent operator, Tajiktelecom, continues to maintain a major presence in the market, providing local, long-distance and international telephone services throughout the country.

Tajikistan’s mobile sector has been on a strong growth path for over a decade. It continues to be the standout feature of the country’s telecom industry.

The mobile market grew very strongly a few years ago but growth has subsequently slowed down as the market reached a heightened state of maturity. Market growth had dropped below 5% by 2015. Mobile penetration passed the 100% milestone in 2015. By 2015 there were four major operators in the market: Tcell, Babilon Mobile, MegaFon and Tacom / Beeline. Tcell has the largest overall market share.

Despite the recent launch of 4G/LTE services, the overall the telecom sector has continued to struggle. Tajikistan has one of the lowest fixed-line teledensities in the region and one of the lowest broadband levels of broadband penetration. Most internet users in Tajikistan are young and access the internet through internet cafés close to schools and universities. Many internet cafés act as second-tier ISPs and buy their bandwidth from the first-level ISPs. Although fixed broadband market penetration is predicted to remain low over the next five years to 2021, an expanding internet user population is a positive sign for the country’s future. This has been helped by the increasingly widespread presence of mobile internet services.

For more information see - Tajikistan - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses