Mobile network operator (MNO) MTS Belarus has issued an invitation to attend the official launch of fourth-generation LTE services on 17 December, IT.TUT reports. The cellco will host the event in the capital Minsk, marking the start of commercial 4G operations in Belarus. The online portal goes on to point out that subscribers to other MNOs Velcom and life:) will have to wait ‘a few months’ before they will be able to receive ultra-high speed mobile broadband.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Belarus is unusual inasmuch as all three MNOs will be using a common LTE network that is being deployed by infrastructure operator Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud), which owns a 15-year licence to operate 4G LTE infrastructure in the 1710MHz-1730MHz/1805MHz-1825MHz and 2530MHz-2565MHz/2650MHz-2685MHz bands. beCloud awarded the equipment supply contract to Huawei following a competitive tender and, in April this year, confirmed the successful completion of LTE pilot trials with MTS Belarus at the Tibo-2015 exhibition, achieving peak data speeds of 250Mbps. Following the official switch-on in the capital, beCloud intends to 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.