Kazakhstan’s Kcell has launched its first 5G trial with 12 sites now live across the cities of Almaty and Shymkent.
Subscribers with compatible SIM cards and smartphones can now use the trial network free of charge. Local outlet Tengri News notes that ten of the live base transceiver stations are in Shymkent, but the two active sites in Almaty will be supplemented in the next few days by a further nine sites being activated.
Kazakhstan held its first auction of 5G-ready spectrum on 20th December 2022, with all available airwaves snapped up by a consortium of Kcell and its sister firm Mobile Telecom Service (Tele2-Altel).
TeleGeography reports that the two operators plan to deploy over 7000 5G BTS sites by end-2025; by end-2027, Kcell plans to have deployed over 3500 5G sites covering 75% of major cities. By the end of this year alone, the operators plan to deploy 486 5G BTS across Almaty, Shymkent and Astana.