Start-up firm Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud), which owns a 15-year licence to operate 4G LTE services in Belarus in the 1710MHz-1730MHz/1805MHz-1825MHz and 2530MHz-2565MHz/2650MHz-2685MHz bands, is apparently field testing its new network in a live situation in the capital Minsk, ahead of a planned commercial launch later this year. Online news portal 42.TUT.BY reports that beCloud, which is building a network that will be used by all three mobile operators – Velcom, life:) and MTS – has switched on its new 4G network, and this can now be found when searching for available mobile networks, even though users are currently unable to connect.
TeleGeography notes that in April this year beCloud and MTS confirmed the successful completion of LTE pilot trials at the Tibo-2015 exhibition, achieving peak data speeds of 250Mbps. beCloud intends to launch 4G in the capital Minsk in Q4 2015, roll out services to all regional centres by the end of 2016, and expand to all settlements with a population of over 50,000 by end-2020. A tender to acquire LTE equipment was issued in May this year and, once completed, beCloud’s LTE network will provide access to high speed internet and TV, as well as healthcare and education services.
In unrelated news, national fixed line PTO Beltelecom reportedly launched a pilot trial of its duct access service on 1 October. Telecompaper did not confirm the source of its story that claims Beltelecom’s launch was approved by governmental decision on 18 September. The government also approved a pro forma contract for the issue.