Hi, I can’t hear you, or the Digital Divide, and how to deal with it

61 years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first person in world history to fly into space. It is Yuri Alekseevich who is considered a kind of creator of the Internet. After his “Let’s go!”, for the benefit of earthlings, all progressively developing countries began to explore space. After all, a significant part of the technology used today in all gadgets was originally developed for a particular space program. And one of the most convenient and popular services for Earth’s satellites has become the Internet. But unfortunately, in 2022, many points on the map still cannot appreciate the modern advantages of civilization – communication with the outside world. Let’s try to deal with the already classic questions: who is to blame and what to do?

As part of professional activities in the villages of our region, we have to face the problems of quickly sending materials via the Internet. Locals come to the rescue with tips on how many meters to walk in a certain direction and which mountain to climb. But what about the everyday life of villagers or summer residents who, due to a lack of communication, cannot afford digital television, communicate with relatives on a mobile phone, pay with cards including pension cards, pay for services via the ERIP system? the elementary thing is to call an ambulance? And if there is always a way out in prosperous villages and agro-towns, what should residents of small settlements and summer residents living in the villages of the Smorgon region do for up to six months? From the last category, active summer residents of the village of Kudishki in the village executive committee applied for Solsky to the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Belarus, which is responsible for systematic work to eliminate the digital divide in the possibility of receiving modern telecommunications services from users living in urban and rural areas.

In the village, work was carried out to assess the coverage and quality of mobile mobile telecommunications services by the telecommunications monitoring company “BELGIUM”.

The result is disappointing:

– 2G coverage (GSM 900/1800): operator A1 gives a signal only in open areas, MTS and liv:) does not give it at all;

– 3G coverage (UMTS 900/2100): operators A1, MTS, life:) do not provide at all;

– 4G coverage (LTE 800/1800/2600) is not supported by all operators.

Indicators of the quality of provision of telephone radio services and the quality of voice transmission either do not meet the standards or there is no coverage.

Mobile communication is based on the transmission of information using radio waves, the distribution of which, in addition to the technical characteristics of subscriber equipment, is affected by many other factors: terrain, building characteristics, meteorological conditions, traffic congestion in the operator’s network, distance to the base station to which the subscriber is connected, the number subscribers in the sector of the serving base station, the influence of interference, the territorial coverage of networks of mobile telecommunications operators, etc.

And here the question arises: why are the tariffs for the monthly fee growing inexorably and the quality of the operators’ communication deteriorating? According to the logic of any business, income must be invested in expanding and improving the quality of services offered to the population.

Another inconsistency, when connected to all operators’ mobile networks, they guarantee coverage of more than 95% of the country’s territory. It is unlikely that some villages in the Smorgon region fell to the remaining 5%.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information of Belarus, the shortcomings identified as a result of the work were entered into the database “Coverage and quality control of cellular mobile telecommunications”, which was taken under the control of the Ministry of Communications and available to operators for analysis and input of information on planned measures to eliminate them.

If you are faced with a similar problem, send your questions to the email of Svetly Shlyakh newspaper morning. gazeta@shlia.by.

Necessary information will be clarified with mobile operators located in our area. The topic will continue.

Natalia ANTONENKO.

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