Road network

The transportation situation in Mongolia has improved a great deal over the past few years. Substantial additions have been made to the road system with the total of 5469 km being built between 2012 and 2016. While landlocked and remote, Mongolia has been developing domestic connections and international links for decades, and some of these efforts have proven to be substantial. Mongolian first highway was built in 1937 and it connected Ulaanbaatar with Sukhbaatar and Altanbulag, on the Russian border.

Out of a total of 50,000Km of roads in Mongolia only about 5,000km (10%) are tarmac (asphalt) paved roads. A further 38,000 km of roadways connects regional (Aimag) centres with their surrounding conurbations and rural regions. Of this second-tier road network a mere 400km is paved and 500km has a gravel surface. In 2016 it is expected that over 2,000km of new paved roads will be completed to connect all provincial centres to the capital city Ulaanbaatar. All other roads are gravel and dirt roads. The majority of paved roads are roads leading out of the capital city Ulaanbaatar.

Railways

The first railway was completed in 1939, connecting the coal mine at Nalaikh with the power station in Ulaanbaatar. The Trans-Mongolian Railway is the main rail link between Mongolia and its neighbours. It begins at the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia at the town of Ulan-Ude, crosses into Mongolia, runs through Ulaanbaatar, and then passes into China at Erenhot where it joins the Chinese railway system.

The Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ) was formed in 1949, and a 404-km line was run from Ulaanbaatar to Naushki in Russia, with the connection operating from 1950. The route was extended south to Zamiin-Uud in 1952, and the connection with China was operational in 1955. The UBTZ transformed Mongolia and allowed many of the assets once used for hauling to be retasked to other parts of the country.

Other stops are Sükhbaatar, Darkhan, Choir, and Zamyn-Uud/Ereen hot (border crossing and gauge-changing station). The line was built between 1949 and 1961. In most of Mongolia, it is single track, and in China double track. The gauge is 1,520 mm in Russia and Mongolia and 1,435 mm in China. There are important branches leading to Erdenet and Baganuur.

A new railway is currently under serious consideration to connect coals mines in the South of the country, including Tavan Tolgoi. to the Chinese border where a railhead already exists.

Transport costs

Mongolia is a land-locked country. The cost of transporting a container from Tianjin (China) to Ulaanbaatar is below.

Unit Value Year Comment
Freight transport USD 3,000-6,100 2018 40′ container from Tianjin to Ulaanbaatar
Freight transport USD 2,500-4,800 2018 20′ container from Tianjin to Ulaanbaatar

Airports

Mongolia’s main international airport is Chinggis Khaan International Airport, located approximately 20 km from the capital. Direct flight connections exist to South Korea, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Russia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines is Mongolia’s national air carrier operating international flights, while other domestic air carriers such as Aero Mongolia and Hunnu Airlines are serving both domestic and regional routes.

Domestic airports are: Moron airport, Ulaangom airport, Dalanzadgad airport, Khovd airport, Ulgiit airport, Uliastai airport, Choibalsan airport, and Khatgal airport.

Electricity

Electricity is estimated to reach 80 percent of the population. Of the electricity consumed, 80 percent originates from coal, four percent from diesel, three percent from renewables, mainly hydropower, and 13 percent imported from the Russian Federation.

Maintenance and consolidation of the grid remains a challenge. A fifth power plant is under consideration for the Ulaanbaatar area, although a concession agreement has yet to be concluded.

Unit Value Year Comment
Mining (day) USD 0.07 2018 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mining (evening) USD 0.13 2018 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mining (night) USD 0.03 2018 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Industry (day) USD 0.06 2018 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Industry (evening) USD 0.10 2018 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Industry (night) USD 0.04 2018 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

 

Water

Water is essentially supplied in urban areas. Water prices are below.

Unit Value Year Comment
Water for wool and leather processing USD 0.52 2018 Per m3
Water for beverages USD 0.67 2018 Per m3
Water for industry and offices USD 0.39 2018 Per m3

 

Telecommunications

As of the 2018 the four major Mobile operators – Mobicom, Unitel, Skytel and G-Mobile reported more than 5 million registered users in total.

Most players have worked to expand their coverage of rural areas with 2G service, in order to ensure that the country’s substantial rural population has access to telecoms services. Despite these issues, operators have continued to invest in new technology in Mongolia. Indeed, expanding 3G and 4G (LTE) services is regarding as the most promising means of boosting ARPUs in the coming years. Smart phones and, consequently, data service; have become increasingly popular throughout Mongolia in the past two or three years, with the growth largely focused in urban areas.

While the number of internet users in Mongolia has risen quickly in recent year, many Mongolians have yet buy into segment. The installation of the fibre-optic cable network started in 2002, with 17.000 km of high-speed fibre and transmission facilities covering 279 soums (districts) and 21 aimags (provinces) already deployed. As a result of these efforts, 90% of soums now have access to broadband internet, as well as public and private e-services.

Unit Value Year Comment
Mobicom USD 0.4 2018 Postpaid tariff per minute
Skytel USD 0. 2018 Postpaid tariff per minute
Unitel USD 0.39 2018 Postpaid tariff per minute
G-Mobile USD 2018 Postpaid tariff per minute

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