Belarus Government is planning to speed up fiber optic connectivity to the apartments in the country’s urban areas. In an interview with the local media, the Minister of Communication and Information, Mr. Konstantin Shulgan revealed his administration’s plans.
A short-term plan is to focus on fiber optic deployments to the multi-dwelling apartments in 2019. It is estimated that the apartments in the capital Minsk have almost 95 percent of the homes connected with the fiber optic cables, though the actual take-ratio might be lower.
Plans have been made to install fiber optic cables in all the urban apartments in the country by the end of 2019.
The Minister told that it is premature for now to talk about a complete migration to fiber optic technology. There are practical difficulties to connect all the homes in the country with fiber optic cables immediately. The process will take time and money.
The deployment of fiber optic cables to subscribers in suburban areas will take time, but the government will proceed with the process and will push service providers to continue with their installation projects.
ISPs in Belarus offer a number of services such as fixed-line telephone, Internet access, and IPTV over fiber optic cables and existing legacy cables. A complete transition from legacy cables to the fiber optic cables would happen over a period of time.
The Ministry along with other departments in Belarus’s government and telecom regulator has made five-year programs to improve the telecommunication sector and digital economy of the country. Around 2 million optical cable connections have been made by the end of August 2018.
The poor performance of the economy of Belarus had impacted on operator revenues, particular for the subsidiaries of Turkcell and Telecom Austria. These economic difficulties also reduced customer spending, contributing to lower revenue and investment.
Despite these problems in the economy of the country, the incumbent telco Beltelecom is migrating its PSTN networks to fiber optic networks. With fiber optic cables laid all over the country, Beltelecom can offer a range of bundled services.
The telecommunication sector has been reformed but the stakes of Beltelecom are still with the Government. Revenue growth for Beltelecom is expected to come from the Fiber to the Premise broadband service sector, where much of the company’s Capex is directed.
Fixed-line broadband services are offered over Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks, and Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks.
Belarus is home to two fiber optic cable manufacturers. The total optical fiber consumption by these two companies is estimated at less than 1 million fiber kilometers.
Minsk Cable Company is one of the leading manufacturers of fiber optic cable, and copper wiring products that serve the customers in Belarus, Russia, the CIS, and surrounding non-CIS countries.
INTEGRA is another fiber optic cable manufacturer in Belarus. INTEGRA’s optical fiber cables are produced at SOYUZ-KABEL works in Belarus and hence the company name is popularly known as Soyuz Kabel. INTEGRA cables also serve to the Russia and CIS countries.