Belarus looks to adopt digital communication

The Belarusian Council of Ministers has reported results of telecom industry development and announced a development program for 2006-2010. In a five-year period the government plans to change analog communication equipment for digital.

The share of digital equipment should be increased to 80 per cent in the local fixed-line telephone networks. The number of connected subscribers is expected to surpass 3.6 million, reaching telephone density 38 lines per 100 citizens.

According to a report published on October 1, 2006 in major regional cities the telephone density amounts to 37 lines per 100 citizens, while in smaller towns it is 28 lines. The numbering capacity has increased by 55.6 thousand numbers in nine months of 2006. During this time period 160.4 thousand numbers of analog equipment of local networks has been changed for digital.

Belarus intends to construct 7.2 thousand kilometers of fiber optic lines by 2010. The development of data-transfer network will be aimed at integration of data-transfer services based on broadband access technologies. The technologies of organizing digital subscriber lines xDSL are expected to be widely implemented. The number of broadband access ports within the network of the national telecom operator should reach 240.5 thousand, while the total number of subscribers should exceed 8 million.

Besides, the program envisages the creation of the third generation mobile network in Belarus. Frequency bands 1885-2025 MHz and 2110-2200 MHz have already been allocated for the IMT-2000 mobile communication system. The frequencies will be provided at tender to local telecom operators and applicants for new network construction.

During the nine months of 2006 the total traffic capacity of international Internet channel has increased by more than three times amounting to 1.5 Gbps. The number of mobile telephone subscribers has surpassed 5.5 million. Mobile operators cover 73 per cent of Belarus where 92 per cent of the population reside.