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Telecommunications in Belarus

Telecommunications in Belarus
Communications in Belarus are dominated by the state which owns most of the corporations and infrastructure.

Lukashenko period

Telephone system
the Ministry of Telecommunications controls all telecommunications through its carrier Unitary enterprise Beltelecom which is a monopoly. The phone calling code for Belarus is +375.

Belarus has 3 (velcom, MTS and life) GSM operators, the NMT-450 and CDMA-2000 operator. Mobile operators are experiencing rapid growth. Minsk has a digital metropolitan network; waiting lists for telephones are long; fixed line penetration is improving although rural areas continue to be undeserved; intercity - Belarus has developed fibre-optic backbone system presently serving at least 13 major cities (1998); Belarus’s fibre optics form synchronous digital hierarchy rings through other countries’ systems; an inadequate analogue system remains operational. "Mass Media in Belarus" exhibition. "Mass Media for Diaspora" booth. May 5, 2005 During the first 10 years of Lukashenko’s presidency, most of the Belarusian media outlets (newspapers, radio, television) were brought under the control of the state. The state-controlled media present pro-government points of view and interpretation of events as in the Soviet period. There are a number of privately owned media outlets, mostly small independent newspapers. They operate under a permanent threat of being closed down for violating various government regulations, such as mis-stating their corporate name on publications or operating out of an office not registered with the government (in fact, this is the situation for all private enterprises in Belarus).

Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe Fibre-Optic Line (TAE) and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three fibre-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analogue lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations

Television channels with news content and nationwide coverage are all either stateowned or state controlled (i.e. state bodies own more than 50 percent of the shares). There isn’t a single privately owned TV channel with nationwide coverage. Licences for TV and radio broadcasters are issued by the Republican Commission on Television and Radio Broadcasting, the chair of which is the minister of information. Other regulatory functions are undertaken by the information ministry directly. The only producer of broadcast news is the Belarusian Television and Radio Company (BT). Regional channels produce 25-40 percent of their own

During the time of perestroika and after the collapse of the Soviet Union media expression flourished, with a wide variety of newspapers that presented a wide variety of points of view.


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programming. They do not produce their own news or current affairs programmes, relying instead on news from national channels. Some 400,000 homes in Belarus have satellite dishes.

Telecommunications in Belarus
transmit television programming, sell newspapers and conduct journalistic activities in Belarus (though some Russian journalists have been expelled by the Belarusian government) thus giving some members of the public, typically those in large cities with many Russian residents, access to an alternative point of view in the Russian language (nearly all Belarusians understand and most of them speak Russian). In 2004, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Belarus 144th out of 167 countries in regards to press freedom. By comparison, in the same index neighbouring Ukraine was 138th and Russia was 140th. The closest other European countries were Serbia at 77 and Romania at 70. Radio broadcast stations: AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998) Radios: 3.02 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995) Country code: BY

According to the Ministry of Information, there are 151 radio channels in Belarus, 30 broadcast on FM frequencies.

There are two types of newspaper, divided into sharply contrasting camps, namely stateowned and privately-owned. State-owned newspapers make up some 80-85 percent of newspaper circulation. The state-owned newspapers have large circulations running into hundreds of thousands. In 1999, it became obligatory to register with the state press distributor. The most important of these is the daily Sovetskaya Belarussia – Belarus segodnya (Soviet Belarus – Belarus Today), published by the presidential administration, with a circulation of about 500,000. Other significant state-owned newspapers are the daily Respublika (The Republic), published by the Cabinet of Ministers, and the weeklies Sem’ Dnei (Seven Days) and Narodnaya Gazeta (The People’s Paper).

Broadband Internet access
The state Telecom monopoly Beltelecom, holds exclusive interconnection with internet providers outside of Belarus. Beltelecom owns all the backbone channels which are linked to the TeleGlobe, SprintLink and Peterstar ISP’s. Until 2005-2006 broadband access (mostly using ADSL) was available only in a few major cities in Belarus. In Minsk there were a dozen of privately-owned ISP’s and in some other big cities Beltelecom’s broadband was available. Outside this area the only options for Internet access were dial-up from Beltelecom or GPRS/cdma2000 from mobile operators. In 2006 Beltelecom introduced a new trademark Byfly for its ADSL access. As of 2008 Byfly is available in all raicenter of Belarus. Other ISP’s started expanding their network outside of Minsk too.

According to a 2006 survey of 1,500 adults by Satio, a third of Belarusians use the Internet -- 38% of the urban population and 16% of the rural population. [1] According to other data Internet penetration in Belarus is 35.1 %[2] - this indicates the highest level of penetration of all the CIS countries. The second closest being Russia with 16.5%. Yet another study by the UN indicates 56.5% of population are internet-users [3]

Free expression limited
Many western human rights groups state that civil rights, and free expression are severely limited in Belarus, though there are some individuals and groups that refuse to be controlled and some [journalists have disappeared,CPJ,,BLR,47c5669223,0.html ]. What makes the situation complex, is that the relatively free Russian media is allowed to

[1] Минский Курьер : №1096 Пятница 22 Декабря 2006г [2] Europe Internet Usage Stats and Population Statistics [3] sdteecb20071_en.pdf


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.

Telecommunications in Belarus
• The Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus • Media in Belarus Major telecommunications operators in Belarus: • Beltelecom • MTS (GSM) • velcom (GSM) • life (GSM) • Diallog (CDMA)

External links
• The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus

Retrieved from tions_in_Belarus#Telephone_system"


Categories: Communications in Belarus, Communications by country This page was last modified on 8 May 2009, at 18:34 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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