According to TeleGeography Belarusian cellular operator Mobile Digital Communications (Velcom), part of the Telekom Austria Group (TAG), says its CDMA2000-based high speed mobile internet service has been cut off in several districts and regional centres of Belarus since 16 May, due to its partner BelCel reportedly switching off services there. The regions affected by the outage are Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Grodno, Marjina Gora, Rechitsa, Orsha, Zhlobyn and Bobruisk, it said. In a press statement, Velcom confirmed: ‘Due to the cutting off of CDMA2000 network by our partners, Velcom had to stop rendering high speed mobile internet in some country district and regional centres. We want to apologise for the inconveniences that our subscribers using this service in some cities of Belarus had to face’.
The cellco’s deputy director Nicolay Yushkevich took the opportunity to remind customers, new and old, that they can sign up to its W-CDMA-based 3G/3.5G mobile broadband networks, which currently cover 100% urban dwellers and 87.2% of the total population of Belarus.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2009 Velcom announced the launch of a mobile broadband internet service in the country in partnership with fellow mobile communication services provider, BelCel. The new resale service is based on CDMA450 1xEV-DO Rev A technology and is capable of delivering data rates of up to 3.1Mbps. As part of the 50:50 revenue sharing agreement, Velcom took control of BelCel’s retail mobile broadband sales and customer services operation, leaving BelCel in charge of running the infrastructure side of the business. The partner firm was founded in 1993 as a joint venture between local Belarusian telecom enterprises and Cable & Wireless of the UK, although today it is an equal joint venture of the Netherlands’ CIB and Belarusian state company Beltelecom. It launched its Rev A service in the capital Minsk on 19 September 2008 offering high speed data transmission at speeds up to 3.1Mbps (download) and a maximum 1.8Mbps (upload).
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