Mobile’s impact on the SDGs in the Commonwealth of Independent States

Mobile technology has been fundamental to expanding connectivity across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), driving the industry’s impact on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities [68].

Across Central Asia and the South Caucasus, for example, more than 40% of the population on average live in rural, and often mountainous, areas.[69] In such places, mobile connectivity is typically the first, and often only, form of access to internet connectivity because of limited fixed broadband infrastructure and the costs associated with deployment in rural environments.

4G is the dominant technology in five countries in the CIS region (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia), but 3G still accounts for around a third or more of total connections across the other markets. Growing 4G adoption will allow users to access more data-intensive services, supporting the mobile industry’s contribution across multiple SDGs. Demand in the region for using mobile to access life-enhancing services is evidenced by progress on SDG 4: Quality Education, which remains the highest scoring SDG in the region.

SDG mobile impact scores, CIS

No Data Found

SDG Icons 1-17

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Key drivers of SDG mobile impact scores

Mobile broadband coverage and penetration, CIS


The Data is Not Available

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Mobile usage by activity, CIS


The Data is Not Available

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Data is sourced from the GSMA Intelligence Consumers in Focus Survey. The number of users is calculated by multiplying unique mobile subscribers by the percentage of survey respondents that performed a particular activity (e.g. reading the news) on a mobile phone. Unique subscriber data is sourced from GSMA Intelligence, combining data reported by mobile operators with the annual GSMA Intelligence Consumers in Focus Survey. The percentages show the proportion of mobile users engaging in a particular activity.

Case Studies

Case Study

Kyivstar provides national digital health service for Ukraine


In 2022, as Russia’s invasion devastated much of Ukraine’s healthcare infrastructure, digital health solutions quickly became essential and have continued to evolve as the war has progressed. One study of 125 Ukrainian medical professionals found that 99% of physicians continued their use of telemedicine tools and more than half of physicians increased their use of telemedicine during the conflict.[12]


In June 2022, Veon’s Kyivstar acquired a controlling stake in Helsi Ukraine, the country’s largest medical information system and leading digital healthcare provider. The strategic investment is part of Kyivstar’s commitment to the rebuilding of Ukraine and will enable the company to scale up an e-health service to a national level to make it available to every Ukrainian. The service will make it possible to book an online telemedicine visit, receive an online telemedicine consultation, obtain an electronic prescription and apply for medication remotely. The new digital health service will also enable the preparation of treatment plans, maintenance of patient medical records and integration with pharmacy chains and laboratories.


Kyvistar’s e-health service will be available to the entire population of Ukraine, including the 6.4 million refugees who have had to leave Ukraine and the estimated 8 million people who are internally displaced.[13] Overall, Veon has pledged to spend $600 million over the next three years on infrastructure projects in Ukraine through Kyivstar.[14]

12 “How Russian-Ukrainian War changed the usage of telemedicine: a questionnaire-based study in Ukraine”, Ankara Medical Journey, 2022

13 “Kyivstar to Provide National Digital Health Service for Ukraine”, Veon, August 2022

14 “Veon commits $600m to Ukraine recovery”, Mobile World Live, June 2023