According to online news agency BelTA, Belarusian incumbent Beltelecom plans to launch a ‘Skype-like’ service in 2013, under the banner eSpace, sometime this year. The announcement, made by its director general Sergei Popkov on 20 February, will see the telco offering customers a low-cost voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service, although it is understood that the platform has not been tested yet. Unlike the rival service, eSpace will only be available to subscribers of the national telecom operator.
In a separate development, Beltelecom says it is to expand its internet gateway, and Wi-Fi network this year. As such, the operator will increase international capacity from 350Gpbs to 450Gbps, while also launching a minimum 500 new public Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. The company also owns and operates a network of 1,300 hotspots, including more than 700 in Minsk.