Kyrgyzstan has one of the lowest levels of ARPU and cellular revenues among the CIS countries


The Russian research company ComNews Research conducted a study of the cellular communications market in the CIS countries. According to the study, in Kyrgyzstan, the ARPU level (average revenue per subscriber) over the past three years fell by 20% and amounted to $ 4.89 in 2010, which is the lowest among the CIS countries after Uzbekistan (3.97 USD). The total revenue from cellular services in Kyrgyzstan is also one of the lowest among the CIS countries and amounts to $ 247.5 million in 2010.

According to the study, in all CIS countries from 2008 to 2010, ARPU (average revenue per subscriber) of cellular communications decreased by an average of 10% in dollar terms annually, falling to 27% for all countries during the period under review. At the same time, the decrease in subscribers’ expenses for communication is not accompanied by a drop in voice traffic, as evidenced by the increase in the number of minutes used by the subscriber, by an average of 30% over the past two years. The competitive situation in the cellular communications market of all countries of the Commonwealth, with the exception of Turkmenistan and Ukraine, also improved.

Dynamics of revenues from mobile services, million US dollars, 2008–2010

Dynamics of mobile ARPU, USD, 2007–2010

The mobile market in general

In Kyrgyzstan, the increase in the subscriber base of mobile communications in 2008-2010 amounted to 44.3%. The penetration rate of mobile services in % of the total population for 2010 was 91.9%.

The most significant growth in the subscriber base of cellular services over the past three years has been shown by Uzbekistan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Russia (10.6%), Kazakhstan (32.5%) and Belarus (27.1%) showed less significant growth rates in the number of subscribers, which, according to CNR, is due to a higher level of development and saturation of the market, compared to other Commonwealth countries.

According to the results of three years of development, 7 countries out of 12 in terms of cellular penetration exceeded the 90% limit, which suggests full coverage of these services for the entire adult population of the country. Tajikistan and Moldova came close to this border, 86.4% and 88.6%, respectively. Of course, the indicator of 90% does not indicate a uniform distribution of sim-cards among the entire population, however, it can be concluded that the extensive subscriber base recruitment policy by mobile operators in these countries will be replaced by the development of new offers for consumers and increased price competition.

Dynamics of mobile subscriber base, million active subscribers, 2008–2010

The penetration rate of mobile services,% of the total population, 2008–2010

Total revenue from mobile services

Dynamics of revenues from mobile services in Kyrgyzstan in 2008–2010 almost unchanged and increased by 0.72%. The largest growth in terms of revenue from cellular services in the period under review was demonstrated by the markets of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which grew by a total of 130% and 36%, respectively. The main reason for such rapid growth is the initially low level of development of the mobile services market of these two countries in 2007–2008, which explains galloping growth rates characteristic of the period of development. For the same reason, Tajikistan showed the third highest growth rate – 26% for the period under review.

ARPU and MoU

In Kyrgyzstan, there is a decrease in the average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) by 20%, and a parallel growth in the average call duration of the subscriber (MoU) by 9%.

Despite differences in the level of penetration of cellular services, as well as the total revenue from these services, a common trend for all 12 CIS countries is a decrease in the average revenue from one subscriber (ARPU) and a parallel increase in the average call duration of the subscriber (MoU).

At the end of 2010, the smallest ARPU for 12 countries was fixed in Uzbekistan, almost $ 4, and the largest in Georgia – $ 11.14. The largest annual decline in ARPU is more than 15%, as can be seen from fig. 4, showed Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Full text of the study at

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