By Andrey Denisenko
Back in 2005, there were 13 home computers on average per 100 Belarusian families; by early 2010, the figure had risen to 40. Moreover, while computers had previously been viewed as printing devices and for playing games, they now have a wider application, being used to study, watch films and enjoy Internet access. With the advent of 3G technology, and the implementation of fourth generation communication, mobile subscribers have high-speed Internet access, allowing them to make video calls, watch TV broadcasts and more.
Until recently, Belarusian paid over $100 (in equivalent) for mobile communication services monthly. This year, these tariffs have fallen at least 10-fold — owing to competition. Now, there are over 10m mobile communication subscribers, despite the population standing at 9.5m.
Technologies of convenience
New technologies are accessible to the wider public, allowing a host of problems to be solved at state level. For example, informatisation of schools continues and a system is being launched to sell tickets for suburban and inter-city trips via the Internet and bank info-kiosks. A system to allow patients to book polyclinic doctor appointments online is being currently improved. The Electronic Belarus programme is cutting paperwork at state establishments, while reducing time spent on filling in applications.
Informatisation is driving forward the economy explains the Minister of Communications and Informatisation, Nikolai Pantelei, “Our information society development strategy until 2015 has been approved in Belarus, aiming to allow us to join the top thirty states worldwide for the development of our information-communication technologies.”
Our country should become more attractive to foreign investors with its implementation of new technologies. E-technologies will help enhance the competitiveness of domestic produce: domestically and abroad. Economic growth will lead to the improvement of people’s well-being and, accordingly, greater computerisation. Our lives will become even more ‘electronic’.