The CIS is now seeing an accelerating shift to mobile broadband. 4G will overtake 2G as a proportion of connections in 2019 and will become the region’s leading mobile technology in 2021. Belarus and Russia are expected to launch 5G by the end of 2020; networks in the region’s other 10 markets will be live by 2025. The CIS will be home to around 54 million 5G connections by 2025, representing an adoption rate of 13%.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an area where mobile operators can grow their business beyond traditional communications. Industrial IoT connections in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will see strong growth out to 2025, driven by increased interest in smart cities and smart utilities. With IoT revenue set to reach $26 billion in 2025, operators are implementing strategies designed to capture opportunities at the applications, platforms and services layer.
Further, operators are seeking to invest or formalise partnerships in the e-commerce market, particularly as smartphone and mobile broadband adoption rates grow. The industry is also exploring potential applications of, and devising solutions based on, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies, and injecting greater funds in the start-up ecosystem to protect itself from disruption and diversify revenues.