Wide access available
According to Belarus’ Communications and Informatisation Minister, Nikolai Pantelei, prices for services need to be kept moderate and services must be widely available. Slow Internet connections are a thing of the past, with the number of subscribers enjoying broadband (high-speed) access rising dozens of times over the past five years, now reaching 1.8m. If each computer is used by a family, we can see that two or three times this number have access to fast speeds.
“The more subscribers we have, the cheaper it becomes for each user,” explains Mr. Pantelei. The Communications and Informatisation Ministry plans to continue the demonopolisation of the market, while restricting Beltelecom’s dominance, to promote further reduction of tariffs. However, privately owned providers should also prove their mettle. “Those operators who work in parallel with Beltelecom, as yet, invest very little in development,” the Minister notes.
The Ministry aims to study how best to reduce tariffs for international roaming. Moreover, from next February, mobile number portability is to be launched, enabling subscribers to move to another operator while keeping their number. This may escalate competition between operators while inspiring them to reduce prices for mobile services.
The expansion of manufacture of the necessary equipment in the country should also enhance the availability of communication services. For example, the Communications and Informatisation Ministry is seeking major investors for Promsvyaz enterprise, boasting experience in assembling hybrid ‘mobile-home’ telephones. It is hoped that the company will produce devices of famous foreign trademarks.