Belarus' MDC launches 3G network in test mode in Minsk

MINSK, Mar 29 (Prime-Tass) -- Belarusian mobile phone operator Mobile Digital Communications (MDC) has launched a 3G network in test mode in Minsk, First Deputy IT and Communications Minister Ivan Rak told reporters Wednesday.

Rak said that the government does not plan to award 3G licenses for commercial usage yet. Third generation networks should be created in Minsk and other major cities on the base of already existing mobile operators' networks, Rak said, adding that he does not see it efficient to deploy 3G networks across the country.

The subscriber base of MDC amounted to 2 million users as of March 1.

MDC offers GSM 900/1800 standard services under the Velcom brand.

MDC was founded in August 1998. MDC?s charter capital is divided among Cyprus? SB Telecom with a 49% stake, Belarus? state-controlled fixed-line monopoly Beltelecom with 31% and Belarus? arms and weapons exporter Beltekhexport with 20%.