Beltelecom, Belarus’ state-owned fixed line and broadband provider, says it connected its one millionth Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) fibre connection on 31st October in Gomel, beating its own target to hit the milestone by the end of this year. The telco is confident of its plan to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to all households by end-2020, including rolling out services to all high-rise apartments across the country.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Beltelecom reported a total of 2.990 million fixed broadband subscribers at 30 September 2016, up from 2.963 million three months earlier, including 956,500 GPON fibre connections, compared to 818,800 at end-June. In addition, the total number of number of IPTV subscriptions climbed by a net 44,000 to 1.439 million, boosting IPTV penetration to around 14%. Meanwhile, the telco boosted the country’s external internet capacity to 920Gbps from 870Gbps previously.
Beltelecom is aggressively pushing its GPON deployment, and in February this year said it was embarking on a four-year network transformation plan to migrate its entire Minsk customer base from copper wire to fibre. At the time, the director of the firm’s Minsk City Telephone Network division, Edward Belokurskogo, confirmed that by 2020 all subscribers in the capital will be connected via fibre-optic cabling. Belokurskogo noted that Beltelecom has been upgrading its PSTN with GPON technology since 2011 and had 130,000 subscribers by the start of this year. Further, the operator has also been actively expanding its public Wi-Fi network in Minsk and boasts more than 952,000 points of access and a further 99,000 via modems installed in subscribers’ homes.