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BelCel to end WiLL tie-up with Beltelecom, considers LTE move


According to TeleGeography Belarusian mobile operator BelCel, which offers services under the banner Diallog, says that from 1 July it will no longer provide wireless in the local loop (WiLL) services to the country’s incumbent PTO Beltelecom, and will instead prepare to test Long Term Evolution (LTE) or CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev B services in the 450MHz band. Online news journal IT.TUT.BY reports that Beltelecom has ‘unilaterally decided to abandon’ their joint tie-up, which currently serves more than 170,000 WiLL subscribers in the country. Beltelecom’s WiLL service via BelCel was launched in 2007 in a bid to address issues of connectivity in the last mile, specifically in rural areas where it was too costly to deploy copper.

BelCel director Viktor Novikov says that the company’s owners are backing a plan to launch pilot trials of LTE in the second half of this year, and further, is also considering purchasing Nexpring NP-10T terminals to provide mobile services to subscribers. ‘At the moment we are negotiating with several equipment suppliers for the organisation of the LTE test at 450MHz. Depending on the results, we will decide on a specific technology that the company will use for further development – either LTE or EV-DO Rev B,’ Novikov said.

Belarusian joint venture BelCel was the first mobile operator to receive a licence from the Ministry of Communications and was established in January 1992, by a local enterprise and UK-based Cable & Wireless. Today, the cellco is 50:50 owned by CIB BV of the Netherlands and Beltelecom.

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