Communications in Belarus

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Communications in Belarus are dominated by the state which owns most of the corporations and infrastructure.

Contents

Telephone system

The Ministry of Telecommunications controls all telecommunications through its carrier unitary enterprise, Beltelecom, which is a controlled as a monopoly. The phone calling code for Belarus is +375.

Domestic

Belarus has 3 (velcom, MTS and life) GSM operators, the NMT-450 and CDMA-2000 operator. Mobile operators are experiencing rapid growth. Minsk has a digital metropolitan network; waiting lists for telephones are long; fixed line penetration is improving although rural areas continue to be undeserved; intercity - Belarus has developed fibre-optic backbone system presently serving at least 13 major cities (1998); Belarus's fibre optics form synchronous digital hierarchy rings through other countries' systems; an inadequate analogue system remains operational.

International

Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe Fibre-Optic Line (TAE) and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three fibre-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analogue lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations

Media

Perestroika

During the time of perestroika and after the collapse of the Soviet Union media expression flourished, with a wide variety of newspapers that presented a wide variety of points of view.

Lukashenko period

During the first 10 years of Lukashenko's presidency, most of the Belarusian media outlets (newspapers, radio, television) were brought under the control of the state. The state-controlled media present pro-government points of view and interpretation of events as in the Soviet period. There are a number of privately owned media outlets, mostly small independent newspapers. They operate under a permanent threat of being closed down for violating various government regulations, such as mis-stating their corporate name on publications or operating out of an office not registered with the government (in fact, this is the situation for all private enterprises in Belarus).

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