Belarus is on track to complete its transition to digital broadcasting by May 15 this year. At the same time, its commercial DVB-T2 service is growing in popularity.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, January 13 and attended by representatives of several government ministries and Vadim Vladimorovich Shaybakov, the deputy DG of the incumbent telco Beltelecom, it was revealed that as of January 1 DVB-T coverage already amounted to 98.1% of the country.

However, it was also said that Belarus was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a commercial DVB-T2 service.

Operated by Beltelecom, it was launched in October 2013 and as of the beginning of this year reached over 40% of the country.

Twenty-five digital transmitters were installed in 2013 and their number increased to 95 in 2014.

Over 70 more will be installed this year.

The service, which employs the brand name Zala, offers a basic package of 26 channels, 18 of which are commercial, along with a number of packages.

In total, viewers are offered 44 channels, with the number set to increase in the future.

Zala had more than 46,000 subscribers as of the beginning of January and its reach is expected to increase to 80-90% of the country by the end of this year.