National infrastructure provider Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud) will launch a full fifth-generation test zone in the capital Minsk in early 2018, says its deputy director Michael Duka. BelTA cites the official as saying the test zone will definitely go ahead, marking the firm’s recently completed 5G trials at the TIBO-2017 exhibition. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2017 – working in partnership with China’s Huawei – the pair successfully demonstrated speeds of 2Gbps in their 5G technology test zone at the telecoms event, held in Minsk. The tests were carried out on a demonstration network built at the event, reporting download speeds more than double those currently available theoretically for 4G LTE-based networks.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in January 2017 the Republic of Belarus announced plans to begin the implementation of 5G mobile services starting from the first half of 2019, in line with measures set down in the ‘Programme of Socio-Economic development of Belarus, 2016-2020’, as approved by the Council of Ministers. At the time it said that, as part of the government’s five-year policy programme, moves to realise commercial 5G services would take into account the adoption of the preferred standard agreed upon by the ITU – currently pending – whilst data speeds of up to 7Gbps are targeted in the long term. In addition, the country is also planning to develop its fibre infrastructure, and targets rollout of some 10,000km of fibre-optic lines direct to the consumer, over the course of the policy programme.