Yota Bel, the Belarusian wireless broadband unit owned by Russian group Scartel, plans to launch its commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the country on Sunday, the firm said in a press statement. The wireless broadband provider plans to provide internet access at speeds of up to 40Mbps in the Belarusian capital Minsk and in the city of Grodno, it said.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December last year Yota Bel confirmed it was in the process of developing LTE networks in major regional centres across Belarus. On 1 December it soft-launched its new LTE network in Minsk and in Grodno, covering the central districts of these two cities and, according to Yota vice president Egor Ivanov, has since begun the construction of further 4G networks in Mogilev, Brest and Gomel. Yota Bel has invested ‘millions of dollars’ in the project and is looking to reach a break-even point within its first year of operation. The broadband start-up holds 2×30MHz blocks of frequency in the 2.5GHz-2.6GHz bands to deploy its data transmission networks. Earlier this month, an unconfirmed report from RBC Daily said that Scartel had held talks with several interested parties concerning the sale of its Belarusian unit. If completed, the divestment would allow Scartel to focus on the development of its networks and services in its home market, the report read. It is understood Russian powerhouses Rostelecom and MTS have been linked with a possible bid for Yota Bel.