14 Jan 2021 19:24

Belarus to be fully covered by 5G network in 5 years

MINSK. Jan 14 (Interfax) - All of Belarus can be covered by a 5G network over a period of five years, Belarusian Communications and Digital Affairs Minister Konstantin Shulgan said.

"Our conditions allow for that. One option is to cover the whole country over a period of five years. Such plans exist, and we'll be working on it," Shulgan was quoted as saying by the Belarusian state-run news agency BelTA during a presentation of 5G technology at the Chinese-Belarusian Great Stone Industrial Park on Thursday.

"We will be preparing a final report [on the introduction of 5G] in February to inform the president and come to the decision-making stage," he said.

Introduction of the technology will cost a large amount of money, and therefore, investors' participation in the project has been envisaged, Shulgan said.

"It's in the hundreds of millions. You understand very well that it's probably inefficient and wrong to provide such money to anyone from the budget, even respected Beltelecom, as there should be competition. We have quite strong communications operators, and these forces have financial capabilities which, I hope, will help implement the project. We're open, you see participation by Huawei; let others come, too," he said.

Beltelecom General Director Yuri Petruchenya said, in turn, that Beltelecom has completed testing of the 5G network and is ready for its introduction.

"The testing zone on the territory of Great Stone demonstrates the capabilities of using 5G technology in cities, in industrial areas, and the fragment in the Kapyl district - in rural areas," Petruchenya said, commenting on the work of two 5G test locations.

Petruchenya said the new technology will help develop the Internet of things, unmanned transport, the conception of smart cities, and will also interest the general public, who will actively use 5G capabilities.