Mobile operator MTS Belarus has announced that the number of people signed up to its 3G mobile internet services increased by 12% in the three months ended 30 September 2012 to more than 800,000; the cellco closed out June 2012 with around 715,000 3G users. MTS is driving uptake for mobile broadband by continuing efforts to modernise its network. It now claims to cover the entire territory of the Republic with a total of 1,698 base transceiver stations (BTS), of which half are able to support dual-carrier HSPA+ with maximum download speeds of 42Mbps. In the third quarter the operator added 3G in a number of new locations in the Brest region (Baranovichi), Shavrova (Vitebsk), Grodno and Lida, Neman (Minsk), Borisov (Minsk region) and in parts of Mogilev.
In a separate development, MTS Belarus says it hopes to complete the deployment of its Ethernet network in the Serebryanka residential quarter in Minsk by 15 November 2012. Upon completion, customers signing up to its ‘Household Connect’ tariff plans will be able to get a 5Mbps (maximum) connection free for the first month. MTS already offers the Ethernet service in the Chizhovka residential quarter in the capital.