Start-up operator Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud) is planning to launch a 4G LTE network in the capital Minsk next year, reports the Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA), citing an interview with Minister of Communications and Informatisation, Sergei Popkov, in Economy of Belarus magazine. The firm, which is a joint venture between Belarusian enterprise National Data Peering Center (51%) and Russian businessman Konstantin Nikolayev (49%), expects to roll out services to all regional centres by the end of 2016, before expanding to all settlements with a population of over 50,000 by end-2020. Popkov said that beCloud’s LTE network will provide access to high speed internet and TV, as well as services concerning healthcare and education.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation (MoCI) issued a 15-year licence to beCloud to operate in the country’s communications market in August 2013. The licence covers rights to use spectrum in the 1710MHz-1730MHz/1805MHz-1825MHz (20MHz) and 2530MHz-2565MHz/2650MHz-2685MHz (35MHz) frequency bands for the deployment of an LTE network. Between 1 September and 30 November 2013 the firm conducted a trial of LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology using four base stations in Minsk. The tests, which were carried out in cooperation with Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and equipment supplier Huawei Technologies, achieved a maximum data rate of 240Mbps on the LTE-A network and 150Mbps for LTE.