Kcell commenced its activities in 1999 as a joint venture between Fintur Holdings B.V. and Kazakhstan's national telecommunications operator Kazakhtelecom. The Company operates on a renewable 15- year licensing agreement that provides the right to run a standard GSM 900 cellular network.
As the undisputed market leader in Kazakhstan, based on subscriptions, growth rate, investment volume and variety of services, and ranking among the largest cellular operators in Central Asia, Kcell had 8.9 million subscriptions as of the end of 2010.
On December 1, 2010, Kcell launched 3G services in Astana and Almaty, based on temporary permission. On December 25, 2010, the competent authority signed an addendum to the existing GSM license, which provides Kcell with the rights to operate a 3G network. The addendum requires Kcell to provide all locations with a population exceeding 10,000 people with mobile services using UM TS/WCDMA standards until January 1, 2015.