Belarusian state-owned telco Beltelecom has issued a statement summarising its performance in 2013, in which it confirmed that subscribers of its fixed broadband internet access service ‘byfly’ exceeded 1.8 million by the end of December 2013, up from around 1.5 million a year earlier (after doubling the subscriber base between 2010 and end-2012). Beltelecom also noted its fixed telephony lines in service stood at 4.22 million at the end of 2013, down slightly from 4.29 million a year earlier (and compared to 4.11 million at end-2010). The telco flagged up a number of other developments during the year, including connecting a ‘large number’ of commercial centres and residential complexes throughout the republic via GPON fibre technology, whilst a planned major network upgrade is on course to replace copper lines with fibre in the capital Minsk and across the country. Beltelecom also claimed its number of Wi-Fi public broadband access points reached 50,000 hotspots by end-2013, including over 6,000 in Minsk. The operator also showcased new converged voice/data services based on an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network, including advanced videoconferencing, as well as new ‘smart home’ functions integrating its ‘ZALA’ IPTV services with other applications over various devices.