Success story: how Beeline made it to the leaders of the mobile operator market

February 17, 2020

Beeline today is not just a mobile operator but a generator of such innovation products as BigData collection, «Internet of things», 5G network and mobile payments.

Two decades in the market: what was and what is

In 1999 a new mobile operator Beeline, an affiliate of the Verny Capital investment group, turned up in Kazakhstan. Then, only Altel was operating in the market. With the arrival of a competitor, Kazakhstanis got an opportunity to choose a cellular company and to connect to GSM networks.

“We were the first company which, in January 2011, launched 3G networks in all oblast centres of Kazakhstan, we were the first to test 4G and to introduce 5G in Shymkent. We were the first to launch B2B – the “Beeline.Business” package. As the result, Beeline got, perhaps, the optimum coverage – both in cities and out of the area of residential places”, tells Yerlan Ospanov, General Director of the Verny Capital group of companies.

The company was the first to launch package offers: when only call billing and charging per minute of calls were in effect, Beeline offered tariff plans to the market. Now subscribers can choose how much to pay for a certain number of minutes of voice communication and gigabytes of the Internet. This practice was adopted by other mobile operators.   

In 2016, the company was the first in the market of mobile operators to launch mobile finance services. The Beeline card became the fifth in the world card with the consolidated phone and bank card balance.

Currently Beeline is leading as for the number of subscribers – 10 million users. Clients choose this mobile operator because of the bargain prices, quality of communication, the Internet speed and a wide variety of related products:

  • Visa payment cards;
  • the best mobile roaming (over 80 countries of the world);
  • stationery Internet “Beeline at home”;
  • BeelineTV television;
  • mobile payments from the balance and with QP-code;
  • IoT, or so called Internet of things (so far Beeline uses it in the agricultural sector for tracking down cattle);
  • «smart» districts (Beeline collects meter readings and sends them to a single centre for processing).

The company shareholders realise that in the nearest future subscribers of all mobile operators will decline voice communication in favour of communication via the mobile Internet.

“We already make calls in messengers. Therefore, it is logical that the network itself will pursue this way of development. What we have as a result: communication is perceived by subscribers as air. It should be always and everywhere, and preferably without restrictions. This is the Beeline’s base on which we are building the ecosystem of all our services. Beeline has long been not just a telecommunications provider, but a huge world of useful and needed innovations”, says Yerlan Ospanov.

Network modernization and launch of 5G in Shymkent

In the first half of 2019 the company started a large-scale modernization of the network. This is construction of new base stations in cities so that there would be no so called blind spots where there is no communication. In total, the number of towers has increased from 444 up to 766 units.

Replacement of equipment gave an impetus for the growth of data transmission speed up to 4.5G and 4.9G levels, and this will ensure the future fast transit to the 5G standard all over Kazakhstan.

Large-scale construction was also implemented in the Turkestan Oblast. Beeline’s mobile Internet appeared in more than 140 residential places of the region.

“We managed to increase the speed of the Internet thanks to combining the frequencies additionally allocated to us. Another factor that contributes to the modernisation is Beeline’s withdrawal from the network sharing agreement with Kcell. This region was previously under the charge of our partner. Now that Beeline independently builds and maintains the network in Shymkent and the Turkestan Oblast, we can improve coverage based on the interests of our subscribers”, explains Oleg Snimshchikov, Beeline Kazakhstan Technical Director.

At the end of 2019, Beeline was the first in Kazakhstan to launch a 5G network. The pilot project was implemented in Shymkent.

In fact, there are no yet gadgets which could work in this network. But the company undertook the capital-intensive construction of the fifth generation networks in Shymkent, being conscious that it’s for the future. These are huge flows of data with super-high speed and high density of base stations – in every 50-100 metres. The Internet speed reaches 3 gigabytes per second. This record figure was registered during 5G testing.

“Business is ready to introduce digitalisation. Our task is to provide such an opportunity by means of various IT solutions. The key one is the development of 5G. We call upon all participants of the market to unite for construction of a single network. This is a very expensive and long-repayable technology. But given the right approach it will become available to a wide market as early as in the nearest future”, says Yevgeniy Nastradin, Chief Executive Director of Beeline Kazakhstan.

How BigData is introduced and why it is needed

In parallel, Beeline is developing such a new sector in digital technologies as BigData. “BigData” is a huge volume of information which is a basis for forecasting the client behaviour:

  • churn of subscribers;
  • tendency to purchase products;
  • likelihood of commission of fraudulent acts;
  • probability of loan repayment by the client;
  • profitability of trade outlets depending on their location.

“In essence, this is statistics which analyses various data, identifies non-obvious links on the basis of which the client’s behaviour and the final result can be forecasted. However, it is important to understand that any BigData products are built on the basis of anonymized information. That is, no personal information is used in the analysis. The system gives out general statistics, and even an operator working with algorithms does not know who the analysis refers to”, says Yerlan Ospanov.

Today Beeline offers corporate clients to use the analysis of “big data” for promotion of their goods and services:

  • scoring for credits and payments;
  • verification for credits.

There are plans to expand the line of services on the basis of the “big data” analysis.  

In addition, Beeline launched the first in Kazakhstan BigData School. This is a completely new trend in the information technologies. Analysis of “big data” and development of software for them has not yet been taught in Kazakhstani higher education institutions.

© Bulat Utemuratov
All rights reserved.