Belarus Awards 3G Radio Spectrum to Operators

Two of Belarus' network operators are to be granted 3G radio spectrum, the local official news agency reported.

The Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) reported that the working group for the State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) under the Belarus Security Council supported the initiative of the Information Technologies and Communications Ministry to allocate 5MHz of UMTS radio spectrum to MTS and Velcom (owned by Telekom Austria).

The SCRF's next session is supposed to make the final decision by the end of the year.

BelTA reported earlier that the State Commission for Radio Frequencies made the decision on allocating 3G frequencies to the mobile company BeST on 23 July 2009. BeST awarded a 3G network contract to ZTE a week later. BeST is owned 80 percent by Turkcell and 20 percent by the Republic of Belarus.

According to the latest estimates from the Mobile World analysts, MTS has around 4.5 million customers, while Velcom has around 3.8 million customers. BeST lags with just 610,000 mobile subscribers.



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