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Growing mobile broadband penetration drives Mongolia’s broadband market
Mongolia possesses a liberalised and competitive telecoms market served by multiple competing players and an incumbent operator that no longer holds a dominant share of its market. Mobicom is the number one mobile operator in the Mongolian market with 36% market share followed by Unitel (31%), SkyTel (24%) and G-Mobile (9%).
Operators have focused on expanding network reach and capacity to support the growing popularity of fixed and mobile broadband services, doubling the amount of fibre optic cable in Mongolia within the past five years alone and extending into Mongolia’s sparsely populated rural regions.
The fixed broadband market has been growing strongly over the past few years. Penetration has increased from 4.9% in 2013 to 7.1% in 2015 and 7.4% in 2016. Further strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2021.
The penetration of fixed lines in Mongolia has increased strongly over the past five years as a higher proportion of residences decide to take a fixed line access option.
The growing popularity of mobile broadband has underpinned overall broadband growth and coincided with a contraction in fibre subscriptions, suggesting some end users are migrating from fibre to mobile. Broadband growth in 2017 will continue to be underpinned by mobile, consolidating Mongolia’s position as a “mobile first” telecoms market and shaping the future direction of Mongolia’s developing digital economy.
High mobile penetration levels in Mongolia are indicative of healthy competition although the market is undergoing transition. Overall mobile penetration levels as well as mobile voice traffic is contracting while 3G accounts for an increasing proportion of total subscriptions, with the total number of 3G subscriptions expected to overtake 2G subscriptions by 2017.
Mongolia’s mobile subscriber market has experienced relatively slow growth over the past five years in a relatively mature market. Market penetration has increased from 104.8% in 2011 to over 105% in 2016. Further slow growth is predicted over the next five year to 2021.
- Fixed line penetration has increased from 5.2% in 2012 to nearly 9% in 2016.
- Mongolia Telecom no longer holds the largest market share in the fixed line market
- Operators are investing in fibre to support future broadband growth
- Total mobile voice minutes contracted for the first time in 2015
- Mobile represents the dominant share of total broadband subscriptions
- Mongolia has emerged as a “mobile first” country
- 3G subscriptions expected to overtake 2G by 2017