Bagdat Musin reveals what must be done to get Starlink interested in Kazakhstan’s market

correspondent for General News department
Support from the government and changes in the national legislation are needed to make the company enter the country’s market / Photo: Shutterstock

Space X of Elon Musk is negotiating with the government of Kazakhstan as it wants to expand its presence in the country. So far, the company can’t do that due to obstacles in the national legislation of Kazakhstan, according to Bagdat Musin, the minister of digital development, innovations and aerospace industry. The minister commented on talks with Starlink on the sidelines of Digital Bridge 2023 in Astana.

What does Starling need to enter Kazakhstan’s market? As Musin noted, Starlink already covers the territory of Kazakhstan, although in order to let the company enter the local market, the government’s support and amendments to the national legislation are needed.

«There are no preferences. Kazakhstan is already in the range of coverage by Starlink but there are some nuances. They want us to make some commitments, to ensure that we are really going to support this technology. They don’t want to enter the market where the government doesn’t play any role,» Musin highlighted.

What kind of legislation must be amended? According to Musin, the national law on communications includes a range of technical requirements Starlink just can’t meet due to the unique features of its technology. For example, the law demands that control facilities of a provider of communication services be installed within the sovereign territory of the country, while Starlink relies on cloud technologies.

The context. Ten schools in the Almaty region have recently been connected to the internet with the help of Starlink technology. The Ministry of Digital Development now wants an additional 2,000 schools across the country to be connected to the satellite internet by Musk’s company.

According to Musin, even though the government is still negotiating the details of a contract with Starlink, the monthly payment for one interconnect point is going to be about $200.

As Kursiv wrote last year, Starlink was considered the main source of the internet for residents of rural and remote areas with no optic fiber or mobile connection in Kazakhstan. However, it would require the government to find solutions for a set of technical and legal issues related to installing ground facilities, issuing licenses and negotiating frequencies.

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