VEON Ltd. and, a global provider of connectivity and internet services, has announced that its operating company in Kazakhstan, KaR-Tel, which provides mobile services under the Beeline brand, has entered into a network sharing partnership that unites the nation’s three mobile telecom providers in the delivery of high-speed internet to rural communities.
The agreement brings Beeline together with Kcell and Tele2 in support of the nation’s 250+ project, which aims to extend high-speed internet to all villages with a population of 250 or more. Once complete, the project will see almost 1,000 rural settlements with a combined population of 600,000 offered 3G and 4G connections by all three operators.
The 250+ initiative will enable rural residents to receive mobile services on competitive terms and select a service provider of their choice. In turn, each mobile operator will enjoy equal access to the shared network.
Kaan Terzioğlu, VEON’s co-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Beeline Kazakhstan, said: “The 250+ program demonstrates how cooperation between mobile operators can help bridge the digital divide across a nation’s communities. It is VEON’s privilege to play its role in this important initiative and, through Beeline, to invest in providing unprecedented network and services access for Kazakhstan’s rural areas.”
The 250+ project, the infrastructure deployment for which will start immediately, will transform the digital connectivity of rural communities and provide access to a range of new services. These will include distance learning, telemedicine, mobile financial services and access to a variety of government digital resources. Over time, the extension of high-speed internet into rural areas is expected to accelerate the economic development of the Kazakh countryside, driving e-commerce in the regions and facilitating the adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies in agriculture.