Mobile telephony in Uzbekistan October 16, 2008

The research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media last November showed that Uzbekistan has one of the cheapest mobile communication services in the World. Only in Sri Lanka and Venezuela it was cheaper to talk and SMS using a mobile network.

Time has since passed and I won’t be mistaken to say that we now have the cheapest mobile communications in the World. For example, I have a family tariff and one minute of talking costs only $0.01 a minute inside the family group and $0.02 — with others. And this is not the lowest price. It can become as low as $0.005 — that is — half a cent from the 3rd minute of talk. And SMSes cost $0.02.

It is partly because of the tough competition in the local market of mobile communications. The biggest mobile operator in Uzbekistan is MTS — a subsidiary of Russian Mobile TeleSystems, which is the biggest mobile operator in Eastern Europe. The second biggest is also a Russian company — Beeline. The third one is a subsidiary of Finnish-Swedish TeliaSonera and is called UCell.

All three companies reported that they’re going to launch 3G until the end of the year.

I think, in a few years the mobile communications will be free, and in a decade — the operators start to pay customers when they use their network ;-)

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