Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries and Rest of the World

November 2014

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Analytical Report (full version)

Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries and Rest of the World
Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries  and Rest of the World
November 2014

Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries and Rest of the World

November 2014

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J’son & Partners Consulting presents short results of the research: Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries and Rest of the World. 


Global Tendencies and Forecasts


One of the key drivers for Wi-Fi development in the world is the further penetration of subscribers’ devices, which support this technology. According to Strategy Analytics, 1.9 bln devices have been produced with Wi-Fi module in 2013 that is 19% more than in 2012.



Other drivers for Wi-Fi hotspots development in the world are:


  • Perspectives of Wi-Fi Offload model;
  • Decreasing costs for cellular communication operators;
  • Increasing users’ loyalty and, as a result, decreasing level of subscribers churn;
  • Additional revenues for hotspots owners.


For the long term perspectives, technological innovations also influence the Wi-Fi market growth. In particular, in 2014 final version of the first wave of new standard IEEE 802.11ac Wave 1 specification was accepted («Gigabyte Wi-Fi»). In theory this standard can expand the throughput wireless networks’ capacity till 7 Gbps.



Nevertheless, there are complications with implementation of operators Wi-Fi projects, which restrain more intensive deployment of wireless local networks, such as lack of clear cases with appropriate ROI timeline and relatively high implementation speed.


The analysis of foreign researches and surveys showed the following:



  • In the first place, mobile communication operators are interested in development of public Wi-Fi networks. They want to offload their mobile communication networks from the increasing volume of traffic data (Wi-Fi Offload model). According to the largest operators, 22% network’s capacity, which they have implemented in 2013, will be on public Wi-Fi networks. Forecasts: 75% operators’ small cells will have integrated Wi-Fi module. According to Cisco estimation, the increasing number of Wi-Fi access spots in 2018 will result in the following: the prevailing number of traffic will be transferred via Wi-Fi rather than via cable networks.
  • Key question for mobile operators will become the provision of continuous roaming. There are several initiatives in this direction, such as Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP). But, despite the interest from market participants to these initiatives, there are still a lot of complications, such as lack of standards (52% respondents) and lack of mechanisms for uninterrupted identity verification (51% respondents).
  • Fixed communication operators express more interest towards public Wi-Fi networks, such as American Cable operators, part of consortium - Cable Wi-Fi Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Optimum, Time Warner Cable and XFINITY. Subscribers of these providers can access Wi-Fi via over 250 thousand partners’ hotspots.
  • Trading centers and sport stadiums became key traffic generators, and not the street hotspots. This trend will, more likely, continue its growth.
  • In a short term perspective of 2014-2015, key Wi-Fi networks monetization strategies will become Wi-Fi Offload and services, based on identification of users geo position (LBS) – such as targeted advertising and corporate apps. In a long term period, key accents will transfer towards full quadruple play (package of 4 services) and Internet of goods.
  • One of the most important factors for public Wi-Fi development (operators’ class) is the necessity to improve the user’s experience. For operator it means the increasing level of subscribers’ loyalty, decrease subscribers’ churn of the current client and to cut costs for attracting new clients. Almost 57% of respondents-participants consider that this part is very important for operators and is the reason for Wi-Fi networks deployment in operators’ class. 34% also marked this factor as an important. Among other factors: decreasing level of total costs on networks’ infrastructure, improving coverage inside buildings and receive of new revenue source.
  • Maravedis’ forecast: during 2012-2018, CAGR of new operators Wi-Fi networks will be 13%, the number of hotspots will grow from 5,2 till 10,5 mln. (Figure 1). In general, total hotspots installed base of all types will be over 55 mln by 2018.



  • Increasing demand on broadband mobile services and fast development of perspective technologies, which stimulate operators to invest more in Wi-Fi networks, is expected in 2013 – 2015. Second growth trend is expected in 2016-2017 due to the developing economies.
  • One of the key trend is the use of Homespots (residential access points), which give extra networks’ capacity to users. According to the forecast, MNO operators will have the largest Homespot-Wi-Fi by 2018. The maximum growth is expected in this segment, and at the end of the forecasted period MNO operators will have more access spots than the leading wireless internet providers (WISP, Wireless Internet Service Provider), Wi-Fi networks and aggregators, operating by wholesaler model (Figure 2).



Such model includes combined access – free Wi-Fi access to clients – users of basic service (mostly – fixed broadband access) and paid – for other (external) Wi-Fi users. Such approach allows to increase the loyalty of existed subscribers and to decrease their churn and, at the same time, receive additional revenue from other (external) subscribers. On practice, such access spots are not overloaded, so this method should be considered not only and not as generator of additional revenue, but as a method to offload mobile communication networks, improve users’ experience and their loyalty, to promote the brand, etc. 



The Development of Wi-Fi in the Republic of Belarus


Key Market Players

Beltelecom, MTS, IP Velcom (Brand Velcom) and Alternative Digital Network (brand Atlant Telecom) provide access to the Internet via Wi-Fi in the Republic of Belarus.



National operator Beltelecom manages major part of spots, which provide paid Wi-Fi access with tariffs per minute. Wi-Fi network by Beltelecom, constructed based on Cisco equipments, has been launched in commercial use in July 2008. By May 2010, there were over 600 Wi-Fi spots in the country, by the end of 2011 – 1100. In November 2012 this indicator was over 1300, including around 700 spots in Minsk (didn’t change by the mid of 2014).



In 2013, Beltelecom has launched byFly Wi-Fi project under the Homespot model, it allowed operator to increase the growth rates of Wi-Fi network development. According to Beltelecom, the number of such spots increased for 85 thousand (50%) in 1H2014 and has reached almost 256 thousand (Figure 3), including 57.6 thousand (22,5%) in Minsk. Key point of the project is the provision of Internet in the living area via clients’ Wi-Fi spots of cable byfly access. In the meantime, other (external) subscribers can use Wi-Fi for a fee and Beltelecom subscribers (byfly service) get free 200 Mbyte of the traffic in Wi-Fi per month. 



So, practically, Beltelecom maintains two Wi-Fi networks, constructed based on different equipment, and uses different business models: 



  • Beltelecom network (Cisco) – around 1 300 access spots.
  • byFly Wi-Fi (Home Wi-Fi) network – around 256 thousand access spots. 


Mobile operators MTS and Velcom are practically virtual operators. They offer service for Internet access based on Wi-Fi Beltelecom. MTS has its own spots only in Belarusian State University of Informatics and RadioElectronics.



Atlant Telecom offers companies to organize public Wi-Fi networks, free for visitors, who passed the verification by mobile number (restaurants, cafés, hotels, cinemas, libraries, banks, offices and entertainment centers) in Minsk, Gomel, Mogilev and Vitebsk. More likely, the demand on these services is not high. According to experts’ estimations, number of free spots is not higher than 100 spots all around the country.



As a result, one of the Wi-Fi market peculiarities in Republic of Belarus is small share of free spots for end users. More likely this is due to the legislation regulations of the internet access (see below). In most cases, food courts and different entertainment organizations provide free access.


The level of competition on Wi-Fi market in the Republic of Belarus is very low, and this is one of the most restraining factors of the segment development. 


Market Volume


During 1H2014, Beltelecom sold over 150 thousand pre-paid cards for Wi-Fi access with different limits and login/passwords in public places – hotels, cafes etc, and signed around 17 thousand agreements on Wi-Fi access with different tariffs. Besides, according to J’son & Partners Consulting, around 40 thousand verification of identity have been made via SMS messages (MTS and Velcom). 


Preliminary estimation of J’son & Partners Consulting: number of paid Wi-Fi authorizations in Belarus will be around 400 thousand by the end of 2014, market volume – around 42 bln BYR ($4 mln.). 


Relatively low level of Wi-Fi market in the Republic of Belarus (1,5% of cable broadband access market) is also due to the fact that largest market player Beltelecom has considered this as Trendy segment and not as commercial project. Besides, peculiarities of national legislation – regulation of internet access – barrier for further Wi-Fi market development.


Legislation / Regulations



Legislation is the key Wi-Fi market peculiarity in the Republic of Belarus. Internet service, including access via Wi-Fi technologies, is being regulated by Presidential Decree #60 dated 1st February 2010 - About Measures to Improve the Use of National Internet Segment. In particular, internet providers should make an identification of subscribers’ devices, record and store the data about subscribers’ devices and also information about provided internet services. Owners of spots for collective use of the Internet (SCU) (computer classes, internet-cafes, home networks, etc) or their representatives, should make identification of internet users, record them and store the personal data of internet users and also information about services, provided by SCU.



The Council of Ministers set the way for identification of subscribers’ devices and users of internet services in the collective spots, how to record them and to store. In particular, The Council’s Decree №646 dated 20 April 2010 – operator of communication should perform an identification of subscribers’ devices (MAC-address, internal and external IP addresses), data, time of communication, domain names or IP addresses which the user of internet services used. Besides the identification of subscribers’ devices, the user also should pass the identification by provision of personal data (Name and surname, document details, by which, it is possible to identify the user).



The list of sources, which can be used for users’ identification in SCU was expanded in accordance with Council’s Decree №1191 dated 22 December 2012. Under this document, there is an opportunity to identify visitors via technical photo-, video fixating or any other software method, including SMS – they provide the comparability of users’ network details with their personal data.  The Head of SCU can choose which way to use for identification.



The practice of users’ identification is the following: in hotels, for example, via the room number, in food courts and SCU – via SMS (send SMS and data for identification will be received). As the result, any internet user (with minor exceptions) in Republic of Belarus should be identified: during the Hockey World Cup, which was held in Minsk in May 2014, tourists were allowed to use Wi-Fi without identification, but only if they had tickets to the arena.


Drivers and Deterrent Factors for Wi-Fi Development in Belarus





  • operators develop schemes for purchase subscribers’ devices with discount;
  • the expansion of range of smartphones produced in China;
  • the expansion of range of smartphones in the category till 200 USD per device;
  • increasing demand on business segment devices;
  • the expansion of range of Tablet PCs;
  • decreasing share of illegal sales of Tablet PCs;
  • increasing number of players on Tablet PCs market, which offer powerful and good price tablets;
  • advantages of tablet PCs vs e-readers;
  • tablet PC is very convenient in solving different tasks, including business matters. 


Smartphone market increased for 50% in pcs in 2013 vs 2012, and 53% in $. Smartphone market in Belarus was 1,5 mln devices in 2013. Tablet PCs market growth in 2013 vs 2012 – 52% and has reached 0.38 mln devices.





  • very low level of competition;
  • peculiarities of national regulations;
  • availability of mobile 3G technologies, soon – 4G. 


Analysis of the Existed and Perspective Models for Wi-Fi Development


6 Business models (existed and perspective) for Wi-Fi implementation in Belarus have been researched in terms of the report.


  • Classical model of paid access (pay as you go).
  • Mixed (combined) access – free Wi-Fi access for operator’s subscribers – users of broadband access and other services, and paid – for other (external) users.
  • Partnerships with shops’ owners (free access for shops’ visitors).
  • Wi-Fi Homespot model – creation of double network, use of users’ Wi-Fi routers for organization of 2 networks - private (home) for subscriber and public.
  • Advertising model.
  • The construction of Wi-Fi networks for collective use with mobile operators (for example, for mobile traffic offload - Wi-Fi Offload).


As example, we would like to present short analysis of Wi-Fi Homespot model, which is being used currently in the country. The full version of report includes all above mentioned business models in full description and SWOT analysis.


The experience of national operators Beltelecom in Belarus and Rostelecom in Russia, also large foreign operators (cable operator Comstar in USA, Free in France, BT in UK, Belgacom in Belgium etc.) revealed that the use of Wi-Fi Homespot model allows to increase the number of hotspots very fast with minimal costs.


From the point of internet provider, main advantages of Homespot models are (Figure 4): 


  • considerable reduction of capital costs (CAPEX);
  • short time for networks’ deployment;
  • increase of ARPU due to sales of access services to external users;
  • increasing cost of the brand and lowering costs on subscribers’ attraction.


Main opportunities and perspectives of this model development:



  • model distribution on B2B segment (example of FON network);
  • the expansion of local cable BBA network till the global level (in case of partnership with large international networks, such as FON).


The main accent on the first stage in this business model should be made on how to keep the existed subscriber base and networks’ monetization due to the billing of other (external) users.



One of disadvantages of this model is the lack of mechanism for service quality support (QoS) and lack of equipment comparability vs commercial hot spots, low networks upload in existed similar projects in Russia and Belarus.



Key threat – is the risk that level of customers’ loyalty will drop because of wrong positioning of services by provider and their promotion on the market.



Market of Public Wi-Fi in the Belarus and Neighboring Countries


Traditional paid model of hot spots, as well as mixed model (based on organization of public networks via Homespots (users’ Wi-Fi routers)) and advertising models are actively being used in Belarus and neighboring countries. Besides, projects on transport, state institutions (first of all in Universities) and in the segment of corporate clients HoReCa (hotel, restaurant, cafe) are developing.



In the Ukraine, several types of operators use public Wi-Fi hotspots. Among cellular operators, MTS has a large hotspots network. The network is using paid model. The largest amount of projects is concentrated on transport. Besides, Homespot model is being used.



Polish operators have actively been implementing Wi-Fi homespot business model since 2013, paid model for all subscribers is still operating. In general, polish market is one of the most developed amount Easter European countries with not less than 400 thousand hotspots.



Two large projects (M4 Open WiFi and Lattetelecom_free) in Latvia use advertising business model. Baltcom (fixed communication operator) offers its subscribers an opportunity to participate in the networks under Wi-Fi homespot model.



In Lithuania, large network of public hotspots belongs to TeliaSonera (TEO Wi-Fi). TEO Wi-Fi had 3 thousand access spots, 400 of them in Vilnus (May 2013).  WiMax subsidiary of Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre (brand MEZON 4G Internet) owns expansive network of public Wi-Fi network.


The analysis of experience of implementation and provision of services in Wi-Fi networks in neighboring with the Republic of Belarus countries revealed: traditional paid hotspots model, mixed model (based on organization of public networks via users’ Wi-Fi routers – Homespot) and advertising model are actively being used.  Besides, projects on transport, state institutions (first of all in Universities) and in the segment of corporate clients HoReCa (hotel, restaurant, cafe) are developing.


Detailed results of the research are presented in the full version of the Report: MARKET OF PUBLIC WI-FI IN REPUBLIC OF BELARUS  (146 р.)



1. Prerequisites and dynamics of Wi-Fi development in the world.

1.1. The history of IEEE 802.11 standards development

1.2. IEEE 802.11 standard

1.2.1. IEEE 802.11b specification

1.2.2. IEEE 802.11a specification

1.2.3. IEEE 802.11g specification

1.2.4. IEEE 802.11n specification

1.2.5. IEEE 802.11ac specification

1.2.6. Other specifications of 802.11 standard

1.3. Wi-Fi equipment market: key tendencies and forecasts

2. Foreign experience: development, implementation and provision of services in Wi-Fi networks

2.1. Market features (business models and development perspectives)

2.2. Technical features

2.2.1. Wi-Fi on stadium

2.2.2. Wi-Fi in airport

2.2.3. Wi-Fi Mesh network in trade center  

2.2.4. City Network Wi-Fi Mesh

2.3. The development of Wi-Fi network in neighboring to Belarus countries:  

2.3.1. Russia

2.3.2. Ukraine

2.3.3. Poland

2.3.4. Lithuania

2.3.5. Latvia

3. Existed and perspective business models for Wi-Fi networks’ development in RB: general description, commercialization opportunities

3.1. Commercial hot spots (paid access)

3.2. Mixed (combined) access (free access for operators’ users of fixed BBA services, paid – for all the others)  

3.3. Partnerships with shops owners (free access for shops’ visitors)

3.4. Partnerships with mobile operators for mobile data traffic offload (Wi-Fi Offload)

3.5. Wi-Fi roaming

3.5.1. Wi-Fi Homespot

3.6. Other business models

4. Wi-Fi networks’ services for end users (B2C, B2B, B2G)

4.1. Direct service for end users

4.2. Premium hot spots

4.3. «Business everywhere»

4.4. Video over the Wi-Fi

4.5. Managed hot spot

4.6. Additional services (VAS)

4.6.1. M2M

4.6.2. Sublease

4.6.3. Advertising

4.6.4. Integrated interface for network’s access

4.6.5. Cooperation in retail trade center

4.6.6. Other services

5. Estimation of efficiency of different business models and expectation effect

5.1. Short analysis of capital costs, depending of the chosen business model

5.2. Prerequisites for revenue side, depending of the chosen business model

5.3. Indirect benefits (for example, decreasing subscriber churn of fixed communication)

5.4. Preliminary estimation of efficiency of researched business models  

6. General estimation of B2C, B2B, B2G market segments and forecasts  

6.1. Wi-Fi market estimation, pcs.

6.1.1. Number of access spots

6.1.2. Number of users

6.2. Wi-Fi market estimation, $

7. Competition on mobile and fixed BBA markets

7.1. Cable BBA market

7.1.1. Access to Internet Market - volume and dynamics, 2010-2016

7.1.2. Internet penetration by types of connections, 2010-2016

7.1.3. Share of different cable BBA technologies, 2010-2016

7.1.4. ARPU in cable BBA segment in Belarus, 2010-2016

7.1.5. Largest market players

7.1.6. Key market tendencies and development perspectives

7.2. Mobile BBA market

7.2.1. Mobile communication penetration by types of networks (2G, 3G, LTE), 2010-2016

7.2.2. The development of 3G and 4G networks, largest market players

7.2.3. Market of subscribers’ devices: smartphones and tablet PCs, 2010-2016

7.2.4. Key tendencies and perspectives of market development

8. Technical and legislative peculiarities of development of Republican Wi-Fi network in Belarus

8.1. Frequency plan of Wi-Fi network operation in Belarus

8.2. Wi-Fi regulation (licensing) in Belarus

8.3. Organizational principles and Wi-Fi network operation

8.3.1. Wi-Fi networks’ architecture

8.3.2. Protocols, channels and services, implemented on different levels

8.3.3. The management of users’ terminals mobility

8.3.4. Services (apps) in Wi-Fi networks  

8.3.5. Quality of servicing in Wi-Fi networks

8.3.6. Billing

8.4. Connection spots and requirements to interfaces. Rules of connection

8.5. Technical regulations

8.6. Identification of users

8.7. СОРМ

9. General approaches to concept implementation

10. Conclusions and recommendations


11.1. Technical description of Beltelecom Wi-Fi networks and systems of management and monitoring

11.2. Upload of Wi-Fi Beltelecom networks

List of companies, mentioned in the Report


List of illustrations

Figure 1. Number of newly deployed operators’ spots in the world, mln.spots, 2012 – 2018

Figure 2. Share of global regions by number of installed hotspots, forecast 2018

Figure 3. Number of public hot spots in the world, thousand spots, 2Q2009 – Q32013

Figure 4. Share of paid hotspots in the world and USA, 2Q2013

Figure 5. MLB.com At Bat app

Figure 6. Solution scheme - Wireless Mesh (Aruba) for large trade center  

Figure 7. Key page of the project – municipal Wi-Fi network HotCity (Luxemburg)

Figure 8. Public hotspots in Russia

Figure 9. Public hotspots in Ukraine

Figure 10. Strategies of Wi-Fi networks monetization by global operators

Figure 11. B2B segment types of subscribers, providing free Wi-Fi to their own clients

Figure 12. Structure of corporate clients – Dom.ru Business, which provide Wi-Fi access to B2C clients, 1Q2014

Figure 13. The number of homespot-networks access spots, thousand spots, 22012 – 2018

Figure 14. Wi-Fi as part of Orange Business Everywhere Smart network opportunities

Figure 15. Architecture of managed hot spots deployment

Figure 16. Architecture of communication network based on Moxa equipment with the use of Wi-Fi spots and Mesh-networks alongside the railway

Figure 17. Mobimark (Moscow agency) cases with advertising in Wi-Fi network Il de Beaute and auto houses Rolf

Figure 18. The Architecture of Wi-Fi network in trade center with the use of access spots and Ruckus Wireless controller

Figure 19. Interactive map of ICSS-network Deutsche Telekom by international Wi-Fi roaming

Figure 20 Solution for WLAN network – concept, used for business case calculations

Figure 21. Cluster analysis of business model on Wi-Fi networks construction

Figure 22. Wi-Fi Beltelecom networks’ structure (paid access), 1H2014

Figure 23. Public hot spots Beltelecom: regional structure, 1H2014

Figure 24. Public hot spots in Belarus: regional market structure, 1H2014

Figure 25. Market structure of paid Wi-Fi services by types of clients B2С/B2B, 1H2014

Figure 26. The number of subscriber and users of BBA services and operators access in Belarus, 2005-2016

Figure 27. Internet access market volume in Belarus, 2011-2016

Figure 28. Fixed BBA penetration rate, 2010-2016

Figure 29. Fixed BBA penetration rate in Belarus, 2010-2016

Figure 30. Share of different cable BBA technologies, 2010-2016

Figure 31. ARPU in cable BBA segment in Belarus, 2010-2016

Figure 32. The cost of bundle of consumers goods – fixed connection to Internet, 2009-2012

Figure 33. Largest market players on the Internet market in RB, number of connections, 2012

Figure 34. Shares of largest market players on the Internet access market, 2011

Figure 35. Smartphones market in RB, pcs., 2010-2016

Figure 36. Smartphones market in RB,$, 2010-2016

Figure 37. Installed smartphones base in RB, 2010-2016

Figure 38. Tablet PCs market volume in RB, pcs., 2010-2016

Figure 39. Tablet PCs market volume in RB,$, 2010-2016

Figure 40. Installed tablet PCs base in RB, 2010-2016

Figure 41. General scheme of city Wi-Fi networks based on centralized architecture

Figure 42. Structure of stack IEEE 802.11 protocols

Figure 43. The portal of Beltelecom subscriber: users’ authorization and payment for services

Figure 44. The portal of Axiros system administrator:L geo location of Wi-Fi hotspots, its state and coverage zone



List of tables

Table 1. IEEE 802.11 standards

Table 2. Existed and perspective business models in public Wi-Fi networks

Table 3. Comparative characteristics of free and paid services of Spanish GOWEX operator

Table 4. Estimation of business model effectiveness

Table 5.Beltelecom’s characteristics  

Table 6. Kosmos TV, cable operators’ characteristics  

Table 7. Gomel OTTC Garant’s characteristics 

Table 8. Atlant Telecom’s characteristics   

Table 9. Belinfocom’s characteristics  

Table 10. MTS Belarus’ characteristics  

Table 11. Networks’ penetration of different radio technologies in Belarus in the period 2010-2016

Table 12. Operational indicators of the key mobile operators in Belarus

Table 13. Level of Beltelecom Wi-Fi Home network upload in July 2014: daily indices

Table 14 Level of Beltelecom Wi-Fi Home network upload in July 2014: for the month in general

Table 15. Level of Beltelecom Wi-Fi network upload, constructed on Cisco equipment, in July 2014: daily indices






This Information Note is Prepared by J’son & Partners Consulting, We strive to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and are available to us before issuing the material. J’son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by the market players.



J’son & Partners Consulting presents short results of the research: Market of Public Wi-Fi in Republic of Belarus, Neighboring Countries and Rest of the World.