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Minister of Communications and Beltelecom General Director on Informatization Developments in Belarus

Author: Mikhail Doroshevich


Belarusian Informatization Programme developments and prospects have been summed up in presentations of the Minister of Communications and Informatization Vladimir Goncharenko and of Beltelecom general director Nikolai Krukovski at the XIIth Information Society Technologies International Congress TIBO'2005.

Electronic Belarus
According to them, Electronic Belarus State Programme has undergone significant changes since it was launched in 2003. At that time the Programme included 100 projects, 5 of them have been implemented in 2004, 48 are still being carried out. It is planned to launch 15 and to implement 20 projects in 2005. In 2004 the number of Electronic Belarus projects was reduced to 87.

Among Electronic Belarus Programme priorities, Vladimir Goncharenko and Nikolai Krukovski mentioned state automatic system and information resources .

It was announced that liberalization of Belarusian communication market would start in 2007. In order to provide a legislative basis for that, Ministry of Communications have designed a draft law on communications which will be submitted to Parliament hearings this year.

Ministry of Communications strategy should provide conditions for fair competition. At the same time "social priorities" remain a must even in this new context.

Communications infrastructure
Communications infrastructure has been developing steadily during the recent years. By the end of 2005 all district centers will have their fiber optic lines. Beltelecom has recently finished main line network modernization through putting DWDM technology into operation, which was started in 2004.

Minsk switching node capacity totals now 12 000 ports, outer channel (from Belarus) capacity has increased from 2Mbit/s in 1998 to 465 Mbit/s by 2005. It is planned that by the end of 2005, broad band access will be increased by 6 times and will total 5000 ports; ADSL nodes will be put into operation in all district cities of the country.

As of January 1, 2005 , 32 ISPs have been functioning in the country.

Fixed telephony
Fixed telephone lines density totals now 33,7 per 100 inhabitants (37,8 - in urban and 23,4 - in rural areas). From 100 households 88,1 have fixed telephone lines (101,5 - in urban and 57,7 - in rural areas). That indicator shows that Belarus has the same telephonisation level as Lithuania and Poland. 40% of automatic telephone exchanges in the country are digital. By the end of 2006 all step-by-step telephone exchanges will be replaced by electronic ones.

Public Internet Access Point (PIAP)
At present there are 187 Beltelecom PIAPs in the country which provide "work places" for 732 persons. It is planned to put into operation 92 more "work places" in 2005 and 115 - in 2006/2007.

Digital TV
It was stated that digital TV broadcasting network will cover the whole territory of the country in 10 years. Radio and TV broadcasting network consists now of 25 powerfull TV sations and 21 stations with the capacity of less than 1 kilowatt with 138 TV transmitters. These TV transmitters allow to broadcast First National TV Channel programmes for 99,49 % of the population of the country. Radio broadcasting network consist of 230 transmitters. Of 100 inhabitants 33,43 have radio receivers, which is more than in Ukraine (17,7) and in Russia (16,3). There are plans to develop a digital radio broadcasting network.

It is planned to build a TV tower in Minsk by 2008 which will allow to broadcast more than 15 TV programmes. It is also planned that after putting into operation digital TV technologies, it will become possible to broadcast 50 programmes within Minsk city area.

Mobile communications
There are 32 message tranking networks which use Belarusin Rosa-T equipment. Duplex communication networks Kart-4 and Vilija function in 5 regions of the country.

As of April 1, 2005 there are 2 800 000 mobile phones subscribers in the country which is 130% more than in January 1, 2004..

MTS network consisting of 779 base stations covers 49% of the country's territory with 82% of population. The number of MTS subscribers has increased in 2,8 times since January 1, 2004 and totals now 1 396 000..

Velcom network (760 base stations) covers 54 % of the territory and 83% of population. The number of subscribers as of March 1, 2005, totals 1 280 000 which is 93% more than in January, 2004.

Belcel provides IMT-MC-450 services. Its network (105 base stations) covers 37% of territory and 56 % of population. The number of subscribers totals 89 798 which is 8,1 times more than in January 2004.

In 2004 foreign companies investments totalled USD 34, 5 mln for Velcom and USD 31, 1 for MTS.

Useful links:

Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus

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