According to BelTA the Belarusian Information Technologies and Communications Ministry is looking for ways to get profits from Skype and Viber services
BelTA learned from Belarusian Information Technologies and Communications Minister Sergei Popkov during the press conference held on 18 February to discuss communication development and the introduction of new information technologies in Belarus.
“We have a workgroup and we will suggest some instruments to the government in order to monetize Skype, Viber services and other similar technologies to some extent,” said the Minister. According to the official, services like Skype and Viber operate on top of the network infrastructure created by telecoms and Beltelecom. “There are about 11 services of the kind in the world. They invest zero in the development of physical infrastructure. While such services get more and more popular, Russian and European experts estimate the natural decline the services cause at about 10-15%. We agree with them. Solutions to handle the problem vary from country to country. For instance, superfluous traffic can be monetized,” he stressed.
Speaking about plans to raise Internet access prices in 2015, the Information Technologies and Communications Minister stressed that it will be done bearing the reasonable sufficiency principle in mind. “The previous time we did that was in January 2014. Now we are going to consider raising the rates bearing inflation in mind. As far as rates on regulated services are concerned, the prices can be raised to cover the costs involved. For instance, last year Beltelecom lost about Br1 trillion due to regulated tariffs,” explained Sergei Popkov.
The Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus
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