Uzbekistan is set to establish an independent regulator in the telecommunications sector, as mentioned in the presentation on key strategic reforms for 2024 presented to the president of Uzbekistan on February 13.

The reforms cover five key areas: transport, urbanization and urban planning, entrepreneurship, agriculture and energy.

The telecommunications sector has witnessed a 6.5-fold increase in service volume over the past decade, while mobile Internet coverage has increased to 98%, as follows in the presentation reviewed by

By the end of the year, it is planned to attract $1 billion in investments and increase the share of the digital economy in the country’s GDP from 3% to 6%.

By July 1, a new version of the “On Telecommunications” draft law is anticipated for submission to the Oliy Majlis. The new draft will include the current law “On Communications” adopted in 1999.

The main purpose of the changes is to liberalize the sector and facilitate market access for the private sector, shared Bakhodir Rakhmatov, director of the Agency for Strategic Reforms under the President in an interview with O‘zbekiston 24 TV channel.

By April 1, plans include providing Internet service providers (ISPs) direct access to the international Internet channel. By September 1, an independent regulator of telecommunications is expected to be established.

By May 1, it is planned to open unimpeded access to ministries' and agencies' databases, enabling analysis of implementation of the “Uzbekistan-2030” strategy.

Monopoly on external Internet channel

As of now, almost all ISPs in the country access the Internet through Uzbektelecom’s International Packet Switching Center (IPSC). In 2018, the Strategy for Innovative Development of Uzbekistan for 2019−2021 was adopted. It aimed at eliminating the monopoly on the external Internet channel from January 1, 2020.

In August 2019, during a meeting with officials, entrepreneurs listed the monopoly on the external Internet channel among the issues of startup development in Uzbekistan. World Bank analysts noted that the monopoly in this area impedes the attainment of higher access speeds and lower prices, hindering the establishment of a digital economy.

Uzbektelecom remains the one providing Internet access at the wholesale level.