Today in the House of Press a press conference was held on the modernization and development of telephone networks in Belarus, the possibility of providing access to the Internet, including in small settlements of the country.
First Deputy Minister of Communications and Informatization Pavel Tkach and Deputy General Director for Commercial Issues of RUE Beltelecom Sergey Turomsha told reporters about the development of modern technologies and large-scale modernization of telecommunication networks.
As early as 25 years ago, a home phone was considered a luxury for many, especially in rural areas. There was a queue to install a telephone. However, over the years, a lot has changed: technology, people's preferences. “The position of the state, which is being successfully implemented by the national operator, has remained unchanged - providing high-quality communications to the population throughout the country. In terms of technology, we have passed several generations. All this is due to the desire of the consumer to have not only voice communication, but also high-speed Internet access, as well as digital multichannel television, ”said Pavel Tkach.
In recent years, urban and rural telephone networks have been modernized. The automatic telephone exchanges of coordinate and electronic types were replaced with nodes for access to the data transmission network with the switching of subscribers to a multiservice IMS platform. During this period, coordinate-type automatic telephone exchanges were completely decommissioned. The total number of subscribers of the multi-service IMS platform has reached 3.57 million.
The subscriber base of fixed telephony is 4.45 million (penetration - 47.4 subscribers per 100 inhabitants).
As First Deputy Minister of Communications and Informatization Pavel Tkach noted, significant investments were made in the construction of fiber-optic communication lines using GPON technology. In 2016–2020 about 33 thousand km of fiber-optic communication lines were built. Currently, the number of subscribers connected via GPON technology has exceeded 2.7 million.
Cellular mobile telecommunication networks are actively developing. The coverage of the population with cellular communication services of the second and third generations is 99.9%, the fourth - 89.4%. Coverage of the territory with cellular mobile telecommunication services: 2G - 98.7%; 3G - 98.4%; LTE - 30.6%.
Deputy General Director for Commercial Issues of RUE Beltelecom Sergey Turomsha spoke about the development of the company and its tasks in the context of digital transformation. In particular, Beltelecom is responsible for certain activities of the State Program for the Development of the Digital Economy and Information Society for 2016–2020. Projects such as the modernization of local telecommunication networks, the construction of fiber-optic communication lines and the introduction of passive optical networks technology, the construction of a data transmission network using Wi-Fi technology, etc. are being successfully implemented.
A new stage in the development of RUE Beltelecom is associated with the introduction of GPON subscriber access technology. The advantages of a modern network is, first of all, the quality of services. While on a copper line the Internet access speed, as a rule, did not exceed 10 Mbit /s, then on fiber optic subscribers can get up to 200 Mbit /s.
In 2019, work was completed on the construction of fiber-optic communication lines in the entire multi-apartment urban residential development. In the coming period, the main efforts will be directed to the construction of a fiber-optic distribution network in residential areas, primarily in regional centers and cities of economic growth with more than 80 thousand inhabitants.
At present, 98% of settlements with a hundred or more households are provided with fiber optic, the work will be finished soon. Fiber-optic communication lines are also provided to over 50% of settlements with the number of households from 50 to 100.
Sergey Turomsha also noted that over 70 modern telecommunication services are available to subscribers of Beltelecom. Among the solutions that are in demand are high-speed Internet access, service packages, video control, television, “Smart Home”, provision of Wi-Fi networks, SMS messaging, video conferencing, etc.
Speaking about further areas of work, Pavel Tkach noted that today the degree of development of Internet access services is an important indicator of the economic development of regions and states and, at the same time, the driving force behind their sustainable economic growth. Fixed and wireless broadband Internet access services give impetus to business development, are the basis for the functioning of state information systems and the state administration system. “We place the main emphasis on the accelerated development of wireless broadband access technologies in order to ensure maximum coverage of the population and territory with modern communication services, eliminate the“ digital divide, ”concluded the First Deputy Minister of Communications and Informatization.
In conclusion, the speakers answered questions from journalists. How much did the consumption of Internet traffic by the population increase during the pandemic? What is a smart home? How can you keep track of what is happening at the dacha via the Internet in the autumn-winter period? How much does this service cost and when will the tariffs for calls in roaming change?