Mobile communication next year: Turkmenistan has started a severe shortage of “Sim-cards” for the population

Problems with sim cards for mobile phones have started in Turkmenistan. Against the background of the growing number of those who want to buy SIM cards – sales have fallen, which entailed long queues. And those who have more than one “sim card” may lose them altogether. This was reported by Radio Azatlyk.

According to information, the situation is so egregious in the western part of the country that those waiting for a mobile “chip” will have to wait until spring 2024. In particular, in Turkmenbashi it is necessary to sign up in the queue for March according to the principle: one person – one SIM card. This was found in the office of Tmcell, located in the building of the telecom company in Turkmenbashi. Moreover, if a client has two SIM cards – from November the second one will be automatically cancelled.

In the capital of Turkmenistan, SIM cards can be purchased in only three places, and even then by queuing from 5 a.m. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, following the queues by pre-issued tokens. It is also possible to buy a “SIM card” without a queue, but for a bribe of 2 thousand manat. There are fears that such a shortage, which began in the spring of this year, is artificially caused and the solution to the problem depends on the decision of the central office of the company. Meanwhile, the authorities, as usual, do not comment on the causes of such a crisis. However, such events are like a throwback to the Soviet times, when to buy groceries one had to stand in a huge queue, get coupons, and even to see a doctor one had to wait. How could it happen that in the 21st century, in a time of high technology, the government deprives its citizens of basic goods, closes the mouths, eyes, and ears of the dissatisfied, and continues to control its people under a microscope? People have come to terms with the limited Internet and closed access to social networks and many websites, but to leave its citizens without communication with their families is cruel.

The Internet in Turkmenistan is recognized as one of the slowest and most expensive in the world. Data from the Speedtest project showed that in July 2023, Turkmenistan was in 178th place in the ranking of Internet speed among the analyzed 180 countries with an average download speed of 3.9 megabits/sec. At the same time, the country’s authorities continue to trump ambitious plans to introduce modern technologies and digitalize all sectors. At the same time, even IMO, which remains practically the only messenger available to the population in the country without blocking, does not pull out the speed and quality for normal communication.