Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

A1 Telekom Austria Group willing to invest large funds in establishment of 5G network in Belarus, chief financial officer says

By Andrey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

A1 Telekom Austria Group is willing to invest large sums in the establishment of a fifth-generation mobile communication network in Belarus, Siegfried Mayrhofer, chief financial officer of the telecommunications company, told a group of Belarusian journalists in Vienna on July 25.

The main condition for the investment is that A1 Telekom Austria Group should get a “serious share” of the 5G frequency spectrum if it is distributed in Belarus, Mr. Mayrhofer said.

Belarus has the worst 4G network in Europe by all criteria, he said, pointing to the state monopoly on the provision of 4G LTE services as the reason.

“We believe that if there is real competition among operators, each company will try to work as better as possible,” Mr. Mayrhofer said. “Everything depends on the Belarusian government’s decision. If it chooses in favor of market competition, this will bring investment into the country.”

Belarus and Rwanda are the only countries in the world where there is a monopoly on the provision of 4G services, Mr. Mayrhofer noted.

According to him, A1 Telekom Austria Group’s subsidiary in Belarus, velcom | A1, had a total of 4,869,000 subscribers as of June 30, 2019. Some 405,000 users were subscribed to fixed-line Internet and TV services. The company’s share in the country’s mobile communications market stood at 42 percent.

In the first half of the year, the telecom, ICT & content service provider had a revenue of €199 million, a 6.7-percent year-on-year increase.