Infrastructure provider Belarusian Cloud Technologies (beCloud) and Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei claim to have successfully demonstrated speeds of 2Gbps in their 5G technology test zone at the TIBO-2017 telecoms event in Minsk. The tests were carried out on a demonstration network built at the event, reporting download speeds more than double those currently available theoretically for 4G LTE-based networks.
In January 2017 the Republic of Belarus announced plans to begin the implementation of fifth-generation mobile services starting from the first half of 2019, in line with measures set down in the ‘Programme of Socio-Economic development of Belarus, 2016-2020’, as approved by the Council of Ministers. As part of the government’s five-year policy programme, moves to realise commercial 5G services will take into account the adoption of the preferred standard agreed upon by the ITU – currently pending – whilst data speeds of up to 7Gbps are targeted in the long term. In addition, the country is also planning to develop its fibre infrastructure, and targets rollout of some 10,000km of fibre-optic lines direct to the consumer, over the course of the policy programme.
In December 2016 mobile infrastructure operator beCloud – which owns a 15-year licence to operate 4G LTE infrastructure in the 1710MHz-1730MHz/1805MHz-1825MHz and 2530MHz-2565MHz/2650MHz-2685MHz bands – announced that it is doing all it can to ensure that 5G technology starts being rolled out in Belarus from 2017, and to that end is working with a number of vendors to provide the necessary equipment for initial testing of 5G from this year.