3G NETWORK LAUNCHED IN BELARUS
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We have launched commercial 3G network in Belarus this week. The network is based on the HSPA+ technology, allowing up to 21 Mbit/s download and 11 Mbit/s upload speeds. The network is currently available in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and will be expanded to the major cities and regional centers of the country by the end of the year.
In addition, we have fulfilled our 3G license requirement for the commercial 3G network in Russia following the launch of the network in the last remaining federal subject, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. As of today, MTS has commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects.
The conditions of the IMT-2000/UMTS license that we have received in April 2007 stipulated that we had to launch commercial 3G networks in all Russian federal subjects by May 2010.
We have talked extensively about the development of 3G networks in Russia in our blog, including the growth in mobile internet in Russia and the launch of the network in Moscow and the Moscow Metro. MTS is constantly expanding its network, and, since the beginning of 2009, geographic area of 3G coverage in Russia grew 3.7 times.
During the first quarter of 2010, 3G traffic on MTS’ network in Russia grew 10.9 times year-on-year. The share of 3G in total traffic has increased to 59% in Q1 2010 from 28% in Q1 2009. The most avid 3G users reside in Sochi, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Novosibirsk, Novorossiysk, Surgut, Kemerovo, Samara, Kazan and Vladivostok, where 3G was launched for some time now.