Velcom subs base tops 4.1 million, announces 3G launch plans
Belarusian mobile operator Mobile Digital Communications (Velcom) closed out 2009 with 4.102 million mobile subscribers, up 10.9% (or 400,000), from a year ago.
The operator said however, its market share stood at 42.7% at the end of the year, down from 44.8% at end-2008, although coverage increased to 99.4% last year as a result of the rollout of 409 new base stations and the extension of services to 150 new settlements. At the end of 2009 Velcom received frequencies which will allow it to deploy its 3G network, e-Belarus.org reports. Velcom hopes to have launched the UMTS network commercially no later than 31 December 2010. The 3G frequencies it was formally awarded in in October 2009 will cost it EUR9.5 million. Nokia Siemens Network will supply its 3G equipment.
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