by Carla Moore EUR24.5m has been invested into the Belarusian telecommunications infrastructure in the first half of 2006, reports Belarusian news source E-Belarus.org.
According to E-Belarus.org, Belarusian deputy minister of communications and information Vladimir Tesliuk spoke at a press conference on 5 September 2006, reporting on the status of the Belarusian telecommunications industry at the end of the first half of 2006.
Mr Tesliuk announced that EUR24.5m has been invested in telecommunications infrastructure development in the first half of 2006, with state budget allocations totalling ?6.3m and investments by private companies totalling EUR17.34m.
Incumbent telco Beltelecom invested EUR14,5m in rural infrastructure development, including ?3.93m for fixed telephone network extension. Telco Velcom invested Br25.5 bln into the extension of its network in rural regions.
The State is determined to increase communications services in rural areas. By 2010, it hopes to have added more than 30,000 fixed-line telephone numbers, reaching a penetration rate of 25.8 numbers per 100 inhabitants. The State would like the penetration rate of combined mobile and fixed telephone users to be 93 per cent in rural areas by 2010.