State-backed nationwide fixed network operator Kazakhtelecom (KT) has reported its group financial results – including its mobile operator subsidiaries Kcell and Moble Telecom Service (Tele2-Altel) – for the first six months of 2023, with revenues rising 10% year-on-year to KZT330 billion (USD707 million), up from KZT301 billion in 1H22. 6M23 net profit increased by 16% y-o-y to KZT58.5 billion, from KZT50.5 billion in the same period of 2022, as six-month EBITDA climbed 10% to KZT153 billion with a stable EBITDA margin of 46%. Growth in turnover and profitability was attributed to rising earnings in both fixed and mobile communication segments.

In the first half of this year group CAPEX exceeded KZT255 billion, including KZT156 billion paid to the state for 5G mobile frequencies. KT highlighted that Kcell and Tele2-Altel – which won the country’s 5G 3.5GHz spectrum auction via consortium bidding in December 2022 – have now switched on 5G network access in selected zones of seven cities: Almaty, Shymkent, Astana, Turkestan, Semey, Kostanay and Karaganda. Close to 500 5G base stations are expected to be live by the end of this year, while Kcell and Tele2-Altel are obliged under their 3500MHz spectrum licensing conditions to deploy at least 7,000 5G celll sites by end-2027.

Note that the government has indicated Kazakhtelecom is expected to sell one of its mobile subsidiaries this year.

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