Telecommunications industry of the Republic of Belarus includes enterprises, providing telephony, television and radio broadcasting, mobile and fixed Internet access services.
The Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus is the central governing body, which is responsible for state regulation, coordination of work and information technologies development.
Operations and Analysis Center under the President of the Republic of Belarus is the independent regulator in the field of information and communication technologies.
RUE Beltelecom is the leading operator of the republic in the telecommunication services segment.
Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus implements:
- preparation and implementation of the scientific-technical strategy in the telecommunication development;
- coordination of the activities in the field of creation and development of telecommunication network;
- long-term planning of the usage of radio-frequency spectrum by civil radio electronic devices;
- establishing the procedure of interworking of telecommunication networks through public telecommunication network as well as monitoring and centralized control over the public telecommunication network;
- determination of the requirements for construction, numbering, maintenance support for functioning of telecommunication networks, their management, guaranteeing safety of telecommunication networks from unauthorized access to them and transmitted messages, using of radio-frequency spectrum, traffic order and telecommunication service;
- control over the telecom operator activities;
- international co-operation in the field of telecommunication, including interaction with international organizations and administrations of telecommunication of other countries, guaranteeing fulfillment of engagements of international treaties of the Republic of Belarus;
- preparation and adoption of regulatory legal acts.
A continuing body - Interdepartmental Coordinating Council of Ministry of Communications and Informatization was established in order to implement control over creation and construction of telecommunication means and networks which have their outlet for public telecommunication network.
In 2016 “Smart Home” system is put into commercial operation, which should become an integral part of engineering infrastructure of newly constructed or renovated residential and public buildings, increasing the level of convenience.
Activities on development of multiservice telecommunication networks and implementation of the IMS-platform are actively carried out, thereby creating the conditions for provision to each customer of a variety of telecommunication services, starting from telephony, broadband Internet access to television services via IP protocol.
153 telecom operators function in the field of Internet access provision services.
More than 9.4 million subscribers use broadband Internet access.
In the Republic of Belarus three operators provide cellular mobile telecommunications services in GSM standard: Joint Venture LLC "Mobile TeleSystems", Unitary Enterprise “Velcom”, CJSC "Belarusian Telecommunications Network". Cellular mobile telecommunication covers 98.2 percent of the territory of the republic with 99.8 percent of the population. At the beginning of the 2017 there were more than 11.4 million subscribers in the country.
There are approximately 3 million subscribers and users of fixed broadband and 6.4 million mobile broadband in the Republic of Belarus. Cellular mobile telecommunication network of UMTS (3G) standard covers 92 percent of the territory with 98.7 percent of the county population.
In December, 2015 JV Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud trademark) launched the commercial operation of cellular mobile telecommunication networks of LTE standard (4G), which is the new technological stage in cellular mobile telecommunication networks development in the Republic of Belarus. By the end of 2018 LTE technology will be implemented in regional centers and other residential areas with the population more than 50 thousand people.
On February 1, 2012 in the Republic of Belarus the number portability service (MNP) was implemented, allowing a subscriber to keep his/her subscriber’s number when changing a cellular mobile telecommunication operator.
Currently the terrestrial broadcasting of television and sound programs is the most effective and technologically advanced way of data delivery to the population.
At the moment 285 television transmitters of different rate power ensure the terrestrial television broadcasting of public, regional and commercial television programs in the Republic of Belarus.
On the territory of the Republic of Belarus the terrestrial digital television broadcasting of the following public television programs is carried out: Belarus 1, National Television (ONT), Stolichnoe Televidenie (CTV), Mir, Russia-Belarus, NTV-Belarus, Belarus 2, Belarus 3, and Belarus 5.
On May 15, 2015 necessary measures on the country switching to the terrestrial digital television broadcasting were completed.
367 radio broadcasting transmitters of different wave spectra ensure terrestrial broadcasting of sound programs: “First National Channel of Belarusian Radio”, “Culture Radio Channel”, “Radius-FM”, “Stolitsa” and other programs (including regional and commercial programs).
The main goals of the television broadcasting organizations are the increase in the volume of television and sound programs broadcasting, expansion of transmitting equipment service area, services quality improvement.
On November 22, 2016 the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) presented another report “Measuring the Information Society – 2016”, according to which Belarus was ranked 31st out of 175 possible in the ranking of information and communication technologies development with ICT Development Index 7.18. Moreover, over the last 6 years Belarus has improved its position in the ranking by 19 positions (50th place in 2010 with ICT Development Index 5.30), firmly holding the leading position in the CIS region.
According to the assessment of the ITU Broadband Development Commission at the beginning of 2016 the Republic of Belarus was ranked 23rd in terms of the amount of fixed broadband subscribers among 193 countries, which took part in the study.
The priorities of the industry for 2016-2020 will be increasing ICT sector share in GDP, increase in domestic demand for information technologies especially on the part of the public sector; the development of the information and communication infrastructure, with the help of cloud technologies, the creation on its basis of new electronic services; the implementation of ICT in the real sector of economy, social sphere, including the informatization of public health services, education, and housing and communal services.