Mongolian National Research and Education Network

Each country has its own Internet-based “Education and Science Network (NREN or National Research and Education Network)” that is supported and maintained by the government as part of their education and science development policy.

The legal foundation for the creation of a national specialized network was established through Minister of Education of Mongolia Orders No. 278 of 1998, No. 96 of 1999, and No. 77 of 2000. Based on these decisions, the Mongolian Education and Science Network (officially named “Erdemnet”) was established in 2000 as part of the ADB-funded “Educational Development Program 2” sub-project, which aimed to connect major universities and establish an academic network.

The initial technical solution for this network was to receive Internet traffic from the Agila-2 satellite over the Pacific Ocean and deliver it to universities via radio waves from a high point, ensuring minimal interference. The network was established as a unit of SHUTIS, under common international standards. Firstly, in terms of technical solutions, the location of KTMS is more suitable. Secondly, Japan’s JICA organization implemented the “Building an internal network and training of engineers and technicians” project, and the Datacom company implemented the “Connecting universities to the Internet by radio” project of the US SHU Foundation in SHUTIS, resulting in trained engineers and technicians. Thirdly, the United Nations Development Program established a Cisco Academy of Network Technology branch in KTMS.

The Erdemnet network was established at SHUTIS. However, it operated independently, had its board, and functioned nationwide as a member (the only non-profit) of the Mongolian Internet Service Providers NGO.

During its development, the network transitioned to cheaper, faster, and more reliable fiber optic cable technology. It now has its infrastructure in Ulaanbaatar city.

As a result of the “New Century Education” project, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Culture to connect Chinese government-subsidized general education schools to the Internet, the scope of the Erdemnet network has expanded beyond Ulaanbaatar, developing into a truly national NREN network that covers all provinces and districts.

The Erdemnet has already become a nationwide network that covers the entire country. Therefore, the Government of Mongolia decided in 2020 to remove it from the jurisdiction of MUST and incorporate it into the “Information and Technology Center” SOE under the Ministry of Education and Culture. This move allows for the implementation of sector-wide policies, programs, and projects that are connected to the network.