Belarus will likely be ready to complete digital switchover by July 2015, despite slow take up of reception equipment by the country’s population, according to the Belarus minister of communications, Nikolai Pantelei.
Pantelei told the It.Tut.by website that earlier statements that the country would be ready for the digital transition by the end of next year did not mean that digital switchover would be complete by that date, but that the country would have the technical infrastructure in place. He said that a lack of digital equipment was a problem but that he believed the country would be in a position to mandate by the beginning of 2013 that only reception equipment with a digital tuner should be sold from that date.
Pantelei said that two local companies, Vityazi and ChPUP, were already manufacturing digital set-tops but that the prices – currently in the range of BYR210,000-860,000 (€20-80) – were too high.
Pantelei said that Belarus telco Beltelecom currently had 450,000 digital IPTV subscribers, which was expected to rise to 650,000 by the end of the year.
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