Belarusian altnet velcom, part of the A1 Telekom Austria Group which from next month is merging with sister firms Atlant Telecom and TeleSat to become VELCOM, has revealed plans to increase its fibre-optic footprint in 2018, expanding its GPON network in a number of new cities, including Brest, Polotsk, Novopolotsk and Zhlobin. As part of the expansion, velcom is targeting covering 180,000 apartments in the Republic – building on the programme it kicked off earlier this year when it began the construction of its Ethernet GPON networks.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in April this year velcom announced the launch of a large-scale rollout of high speed GPON broadband networks in Belarus. Having initially constructed a pilot project in Bobruisk, deploying GPON technology to more than 23,000 apartments, velcom said it was keen to extend the rollout countrywide, with commercial services expected to come onstream in the capital in the second half of the year. Having begun buildouts in Minsk, and other regional and district centres, in June velcom hooked up about 3,000 apartments in blocks in Zakharov, Pulihova, Pervomayskaya and Antonovsky. velcom continues to work on the upgrade of its Ethernet-based network but will look to transfer subscribers to GPON in future, it says. Current end-user data speeds are capped to 100Mbps, although speaking in April technical director Christian Lax said that the move to GPON will allow for future scalability and the eventual availability of 10Gbps services.