Mongolia: Information and Communications Infrastructure Development Project

In 2005, when the World Bank started to support the development of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in rural Mongolia, less than 30 percent of the soum (district) center villages had reliable telecommunications, even though one-third of Mongolia’s population live in such small centers. With World Bank financed subsidies provided to private sector operators to motivate the expansion of their coverage area, all 335 soums have been provided with mobile voice service, and a satellite-based network of public telephones serves herders in remote areas beyond the mobile network. Additionally, 34 prime soum centers (selected based on population, availability of commercial power and fiber optic connectivity) have broadband Internet access for public and private users, schools are connected at discounted rates, and there is wider access to Internet cafés.