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Third 3G frequency enabled in Belarus


According to BelTA Mobile services provider MTS has been the first to launch the third carrier frequency of 5 MHz to increase the throughput capacity of the 3G network, BelTA has learnt.

The third carrier frequency was enabled on Independence Avenue in Minsk at a base station located on the roof of the Luch watch maker.

According to head of the network development section at MTS Artem Maximenko, the third carrier frequency will be used at 500 base stations around Belarus. First of all, an additional radio frequency channel will be operated in the busiest sections.

He informed that data transmission speed for end users depends on the operational range of a base station and signal strength. There will be three major zones. The first one will be located near a base station; there will be no problems with a throughput capacity of a channel there. The speed might reach and exceed 21 Mbps. The second zone will have a lower modulation; therefore the throughput capacity of the channel will make up 16 Mbps. The third zone will have the weakest signal (usually basement areas), with the transmission speed of up to 3 Mbps. Much will depend on the locality: customers living in problem areas might occasionally face sharp fluctuations in Internet access speed, while people living in the areas where the signal is strong will hardly experience any issues with data transmission speed.

The aggregate data transmission speed after launching the third carrier frequency has reached 30 Mbps. To take advantage of the additional radio frequency channel, Internet users need to have a modem or any other device that supports Dual Carrier technology.

Each carrier frequency has 512 channels. The maximum data transmission speed using this technology does not exceed 42 Mbps. The enabling of the third carrier frequency is expected to increase the chances that high data transmission speed will reach end users.

MTS has plans to enable a fourth carrier frequency with a 5 MHz band. However, the company needs the permission of the State Commission for Radio Frequencies.

Earlier, the State Commission for Radio Frequencies made a decision to allocate additional radio frequency channels in the band of 2,100 MHz to mobile carriers velcom and MTS. Each of them paid 9.5 million for the radio frequencies.

The new radio frequencies will allow them to expand the throughput capacity of the data transmission network. The third carrier frequency will be launched first at 3G/3G+ base stations in Minsk.

The Big Two providers have utilized the capacity of the second carrier frequency in Minsk almost fully: MTS uses it at 77% of base stations and velcom at over 70% base stations.

The third radio frequency channel is expected to enhance the throughput capacity of a base station and will be operated only at the busiest sections, MTS informed.

The Belarus-Russia joint venture COOO MTS has been providing GSM 900/1800 cellular communication services in Belarus since 2002 and UMTS services since 2010. The companys founders are Russias OAO MTS (49% of the authorized capital) and Belarusian landline communication company Beltelecom (51%).

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