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The World Factbook 2002

  Field Listing - Telephone system


This entry includes a brief characterization of the system with details on the domestic and international components.
Country
Telephone system
Afghanistan general assessment: very limited telephone and telegraph service
domestic: in 1997, telecommunications links were established between Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, and Kabul through satellite and microwave systems
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) linked only to Iran and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); commercial satellite telephone center in Ghazni
Albania general assessment: Albania has the poorest telephone service in Europe with fewer than two telephones per 100 inhabitants; it is doubtful that every village has telephone service
domestic: obsolete wire system; no longer provides a telephone for every village; in 1992, following the fall of the Communist government, peasants cut the wire to about 1,000 villages and used it to build fences
international: inadequate; international traffic carried by microwave radio relay from the Tirana exchange to Italy and Greece
Algeria general assessment: telephone density in Algeria is very low, not exceeding five telephones per 100 persons; the number of fixed main lines increased in the last few years to a little more than 2,000,000, but only about two-thirds of these have subscribers; much of the infrastructure is outdated and inefficient
domestic: good service in north but sparse in south; domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations (20 additional domestic earth stations are planned)
international: 5 submarine cables; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat (1998)
American Samoa general assessment: NA
domestic: good telex, telegraph, facsimile and cellular telephone services; domestic satellite system with 1 Comsat earth station
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Andorra general assessment: NA
domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges
international: landline circuits to France and Spain
Angola general assessment: telephone service limited mostly to government and business use; HF radiotelephone used extensively for military links
domestic: limited system of wire, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Anguilla general assessment: NA
domestic: modern internal telephone system
international: microwave radio relay to island of Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles)
Antarctica general assessment: local systems at some research stations
domestic: NA
international: via satellite from some research stations
Antigua and Barbuda general assessment: NA
domestic: good automatic telephone system
international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe
Argentina general assessment: by opening the telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment with the "Telecommunications Liberalization Plan of 1998", Argentina encouraged the growth of modern telecommunication technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; the major networks are entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is being improved; however, telephone density is presently minimal, and making telephone service universally available will take some time
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network; more than 110,000 pay telephones are installed and mobile telephone use is rapidly expanding
international: satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Atlantis II and Unisur submarine cables; two international gateways near Buenos Aires (1999)
Armenia general assessment: system inadequate; now 90% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion
domestic: the majority of subscribers and the most modern equipment are in Yerevan (this includes paging and mobile cellular service)
international: Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and through the Moscow international switch and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (2000)
Aruba general assessment: NA
domestic: more than adequate
international: 1 submarine cable to Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles); extensive interisland microwave radio relay links
Australia general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: domestic satellite system; much use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile cellular telephones
international: submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat (Indian and Pacific Ocean regions) (1998)
Austria general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: there are 48 main lines for every 100 persons; the fiber optic net is very extensive; all telephone applications and Internet services are available
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat; in addition, there are about 600 VSAT (very small aperture terminals) (2002)
Azerbaijan general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and modernization; teledensity of 8.6 main lines per 100 persons is very low
domestic: the majority of telephones are in Baku and other industrial centers - about 700 villages still without public telephone service; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan
international: the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; a satellite connection to Turkey enables Baku to reach about 200 additional countries, some of which are directly connected to Baku by satellite providers other than Turkey (1997)
Bahamas, The general assessment: modern facilities
domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed
international: tropospheric scatter and submarine cable to Florida; 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (1997)
Bahrain general assessment: modern system
domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile cellular telephones
international: tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; submarine cable to Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (1997)
Bangladesh general assessment: totally inadequate for a modern country
domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2000)
Barbados general assessment: NA
domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia
Belarus general assessment: the Ministry of Telecommunications controls all telecommunications through its carrier (a joint stock company) Beltelcom which is a monopoly
domestic: local - Minsk has a digital metropolitan network and a cellular NMT-450 network; waiting lists for telephones are long; local service outside Minsk is neglected and poor; intercity - Belarus has a partly developed fiber-optic backbone system presently serving at least 13 major cities (1998); Belarus's fiber optics form synchronous digital hierarchy rings through other countries' systems; an inadequate analog system remains operational
international: Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three fiber-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations
Belgium general assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities
domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network
international: 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat
Belize general assessment: above-average system
domestic: trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Benin general assessment: NA
domestic: fair system of open wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable
Bermuda general assessment: NA
domestic: modern, fully automatic telephone system
international: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Bhutan general assessment: NA
domestic: domestic telephone service is very poor with few telephones in use
international: international telephone and telegraph service is by landline through India; a satellite earth station was planned (1990)
Bolivia general assessment: new subscribers face bureaucratic difficulties; most telephones are concentrated in La Paz and other cities; mobile cellular telephone use expanding rapidly
domestic: primary trunk system, which is being expanded, employs digital microwave radio relay; some areas are served by fiber-optic cable; mobile cellular systems are being expanded
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Bosnia and Herzegovina general assessment: telephone and telegraph network needs modernization and expansion; many urban areas are below average as contrasted with services in other former Yugoslav republics
domestic: NA
international: no satellite earth stations
Botswana general assessment: the system is expanding with the growth of mobile cellular service and participation in regional development
domestic: small system of open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and a few radiotelephone communication stations; mobile cellular service is growing fast
international: two international exchanges; digital microwave radio relay links to Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Brazil general assessment: good working system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations
international: 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station
British Indian Ocean Territory general assessment: separate facilities for military and public needs are available
domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, including connection to the Internet
international: international telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)
British Virgin Islands general assessment: worldwide telephone service
domestic: NA
international: submarine cable to Bermuda
Brunei general assessment: service throughout country is excellent; international service good to Europe, US, and East Asia
domestic: every service available
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean); digital submarine cable links to Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines (2001)
Bulgaria general assessment: extensive but antiquated
domestic: more than two-thirds of the lines are residential; telephone service is available in most villages; a fairly modern digital cable trunk line now connects switching centers in most of the regions, the others are connected by digital microwave radio relay
international: direct dialing to 58 countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); 2 Intelsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions)
Burkina Faso general assessment: all services only fair
domestic: microwave radio relay, open wire, and radiotelephone communication stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Burma general assessment: meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government; international service is good
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Burundi general assessment: primitive system
domestic: sparse system of open wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Cambodia general assessment: adequate landline and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; rural areas have little telephone service
domestic: NA
international: adequate but expensive landline and cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and major provincial cities; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)
Cameroon general assessment: available only to business and government
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Canada general assessment: excellent service provided by modern technology
domestic: domestic satellite system with about 300 earth stations
international: 5 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) and 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Cape Verde general assessment: effective system, being improved
domestic: interisland microwave radio relay system with both analog and digital exchanges; work is in progress on a submarine fiber-optic cable system which is scheduled for completion in 2003
international: 2 coaxial submarine cables; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Cayman Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: 1 submarine coaxial cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Central African Republic general assessment: fair system
domestic: network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Chad general assessment: primitive system
domestic: fair system of radiotelephone communication stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Chile general assessment: modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
China general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)
Christmas Island general assessment: service provided by the Australian network
domestic: only analog mobile telephone service is available
international: satellite earth stations - one Intelsat earth station provides telephone and telex service (2000)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands general assessment: connected within Australia's telecommunication system
domestic: NA
international: telephone, telex, and facsimile communications with Australia and elsewhere via satellite; 1 satellite earth station of NA type (2002)
Colombia general assessment: modern system in many respects
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities
international: satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers; 8 submarine cables
Comoros general assessment: sparse system of microwave radio relay and HF radiotelephone communication stations
domestic: HF radiotelephone communications and microwave radio relay
international: HF radiotelephone communications to Madagascar and Reunion
Congo, Democratic Republic of the general assessment: poor
domestic: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Congo, Republic of the general assessment: services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out-of-order
domestic: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Cook Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: the individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open wire, cable, and fiber-optic cable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Costa Rica general assessment: very good domestic telephone service
domestic: point-to-point and point-to-multi-point microwave, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable link rural areas; Internet service is available
international: connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); two submarine cables (1999)
Cote d'Ivoire general assessment: well developed by African standards but operating well below capacity
domestic: open-wire lines and microwave radio relay; 90% digitalized
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); 2 coaxial submarine cables (June 1999)
Croatia general assessment: NA
domestic: reconstruction plan calls for replacement of all analog circuits with digital and enlarging the network; a backup will be included in the plan for the main trunk
international: digital international service is provided through the main switch in Zagreb; Croatia participates in the Trans-Asia-Europe (TEL) fiber-optic project which consists of two fiber-optic trunk connections with Slovenia and a fiber-optic trunk line from Rijeka to Split and Dubrovnik; Croatia is also investing in ADRIA 1, a joint fiber-optic project with Germany, Albania, and Greece (2000)
Cuba general assessment: NA
domestic: principal trunk system, end to end of country, is coaxial cable; fiber-optic distribution in Havana and on Isla de la Juventud; 2 microwave radio relay installations (one is old, US-built; the other newer, built during the period of Soviet support); both analog and digital mobile cellular service established
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Cyprus general assessment: excellent in both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot areas
domestic: open wire, fiber-optic cable, and microwave radio relay
international: tropospheric scatter; 3 coaxial and 5 fiber-optic submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 2 Eutelsat, 2 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat
Czech Republic general assessment: privatization and modernization of the Czech telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily; growth in the use of mobile cellular telephones is particularly vigorous
domestic: 86% of exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber systems now being enhanced with Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) equipment to accommodate Internet and other digital signals; trunk systems include fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar
Denmark general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services
domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, 4 cellular mobile communications systems
international: 18 submarine fiber-optic cables linking Denmark with Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Canada; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access (1997)
Djibouti general assessment: telephone facilities in the city of Djibouti are adequate as are the microwave radio relay connections to outlying areas of the country
domestic: microwave radio relay network
international: submarine cable to Jiddah, Suez, Sicily, Marseilles, Colombo, and Singapore; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; Medarabtel regional microwave radio relay telephone network
Dominica general assessment: NA
domestic: fully automatic network
international: microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia
Dominican Republic general assessment: NA
domestic: relatively efficient system based on islandwide microwave radio relay network
international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
East Timor NA
Ecuador general assessment: generally elementary but being expanded
domestic: facilities generally inadequate and unreliable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Egypt general assessment: large system; underwent extensive upgrading during 1990s and is reasonably modern; Internet access and cellular service are available
domestic: principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta are connected by coaxial cable and microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat; 5 coaxial submarine cables; tropospheric scatter to Sudan; microwave radio relay to Israel; a participant in Medarabtel and a signatory to Project Oxygen (a global submarine fiber-optic cable system)
El Salvador general assessment: NA
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Equatorial Guinea general assessment: poor system with adequate government services
domestic: NA
international: international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Eritrea general assessment: inadequate
domestic: very inadequate; most telephones are in Asmara; government is seeking international tenders to improve the system (2002)
international: NA; note - international connections exist
Estonia general assessment: foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service; substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; internet services are available throughout most of the country - only about 11,000 subscriber requests were unfilled by September 2000
domestic: a wide range of high quality voice, data, and internet services is available throughout the country
international: fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide worldwide packet-switched service; two international switches are located in Tallinn (2001)
Ethiopia general assessment: open wire and microwave radio relay system; adequate for government use
domestic: open wire; microwave radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies; two domestic satellites provide the national trunk service
international: open wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) general assessment: NA
domestic: government-operated radiotelephone and private VHF/CB radiotelephone networks provide effective service to almost all points on both islands
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) with links through London to other countries
Faroe Islands general assessment: good international communications; good domestic facilities
domestic: digitalization was completed in 1998; both NMT (analog) and GSM (digital) mobile telephone systems are installed
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Orion; 1 fiber-optic submarine cable to the Shetland Islands, linking the Faroe Islands with Denmark and Iceland; fiber-optic submarine cable connection to Canada-Europe cable
Fiji general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
domestic: NA
international: access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Finland general assessment: modern system with excellent service
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and an extensive cellular net provide domestic needs
international: 1 submarine cable; satellite earth stations - access to Intelsat transmission service via a Swedish satellite earth station, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Finland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden)
France general assessment: highly developed
domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive introduction of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (with total of 5 antennas - 2 for Indian Ocean and 3 for Atlantic Ocean), NA Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region); HF radiotelephone communications with more than 20 countries
French Guiana general assessment: NA
domestic: fair open wire and microwave radio relay system
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
French Polynesia general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Gabon general assessment: adequate service by African standards and improving with the help of the growing mobile cell system
domestic: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Gambia, The general assessment: adequate; a packet switched data network is available
domestic: adequate network of microwave radio relay and open wire
international: microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Gaza Strip general assessment: NA
domestic: rudimentary telephone services provided by an open wire system
international: NA
Georgia general assessment: NA
domestic: local - T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi have cellular telephone networks; urban telephone density is about 20 per 100 people; rural telephone density is about 4 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi; nationwide pager service is available
international: Georgia and Russia are working on a fiber-optic line between P'ot'i and Sochi (Russia); present international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available
Germany general assessment: Germany has one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country, dating back to World War II, has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: Germany is served by an extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
international: Germany's international service is excellent worldwide, consisting of extensive land and undersea cable facilities as well as earth stations in the INMARSAT, INTELSAT, EUTELSAT, and INTERSPUTNIK satellite systems (2001)
Ghana general assessment: poor to fair system; Internet accessible; many rural communities not yet connected; expansion of services is underway
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors
Gibraltar general assessment: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities
domestic: automatic exchange facilities
international: radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Greece general assessment: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; good mobile telephone and international service
domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands
international: tropospheric scatter; 8 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)
Greenland general assessment: adequate domestic and international service provided by satellite, cables and microwave radio relay; totally digitalized in 1995
domestic: microwave radio relay and satellite
international: satellite earth stations - 12 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 2 Americom GE-2 (all Atlantic Ocean)
Grenada general assessment: automatic, islandwide telephone system
domestic: interisland VHF and UHF radiotelephone links
international: new SHF radiotelephone links to Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Vincent; VHF and UHF radio links to Trinidad
Guadeloupe general assessment: domestic facilities inadequate
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Martinique
Guam general assessment: modern system, integrated with US facilities for direct dialing, including free use of 800 numbers
domestic: modern digital system, including cellular mobile service and local access to the Internet
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to US and Japan (Guam is a trans-Pacific communications hub for MCI, Sprint, AT&T, IT&E, and GTE, linking the US and Asia)
Guatemala general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala
domestic: NA
international: connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Guernsey general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: 1 submarine cable
Guinea general assessment: poor to fair system of open-wire lines, small radiotelephone communication stations, and new microwave radio relay system
domestic: microwave radio relay and radiotelephone communication
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Guinea-Bissau general assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and cellular communications
international: NA
Guyana general assessment: fair system for long-distance calling
domestic: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines
international: tropospheric scatter to Trinidad; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Haiti general assessment: domestic facilities barely adequate; international facilities slightly better
domestic: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay trunk service
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Holy See (Vatican City) general assessment: automatic exchange
domestic: tied into Italian system
international: uses Italian system
Honduras general assessment: inadequate system
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System
Hong Kong general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China; access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
Hungary general assessment: the telephone system has been modernized and is capable of satisfying all requests for telecommunication service
domestic: the system is digitalized and highly automated; trunk services are carried by fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay; a program for fiber-optic subscriber connections was initiated in 1996; heavy use is made of mobile cellular telephones
international: Hungary has fiber-optic cable connections with all neighboring countries; the international switch is in Budapest; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Inmarsat, 1 very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system of ground terminals
Iceland general assessment: adequate domestic service
domestic: the trunk network consists of coaxial and fiber-optic cables and microwave radio relay links
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Iceland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden)
India general assessment: mediocre service; local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas; major objective is to continue to expand and modernize long-distance network to keep pace with rapidly growing number of local subscriber lines; steady improvement is taking place with the recent admission of private and private-public investors, but, with telephone density at about two for each 100 persons and a waiting list of over 2 million, demand for main line telephone service will not be satisfied for a very long time
domestic: local service is provided by microwave radio relay and coaxial cable, with open wire and obsolete electromechanical and manual switchboard systems still in use in rural areas; starting in the 1980s, a substantial amount of digital switch gear has been introduced for local and long-distance service; long-distance traffic is carried mostly by coaxial cable and low-capacity microwave radio relay; since 1985 significant trunk capacity has been added in the form of fiber-optic cable and a domestic satellite system with 254 earth stations; mobile cellular service is provided in four metropolitan cities
international: satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); nine gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gaidhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam; 4 submarine cables - LOCOM linking Chennai (Madras) to Penang; Indo-UAE-Gulf cable linking Mumbai (Bombay) to Al Fujayrah, UAE; India-SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-2 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay); Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with landing site at Mumbai (Bombay) (2000)
Indonesia general assessment: domestic service fair, international service good
domestic: interisland microwave system and HF radio police net; domestic satellite communications system
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Iran general assessment: inadequate but currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages, not presently connected
domestic: as a result of heavy investing in the telephone system since 1994, the number of long-distance channels in the microwave radio relay trunk has grown substantially; many villages have been brought into the net; the number of main lines in the urban systems has approximately doubled; and thousands of mobile cellular subscribers are being served; moreover, the technical level of the system has been raised by the installation of thousands of digital switches
international: HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; satellite earth stations - 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat; Internet service available but limited to electronic mail to promote Iranian culture
Iraq general assessment: reconstitution of damaged telecommunication facilities began after the Gulf war; most damaged facilities have been rebuilt
domestic: the network consists of coaxial cables and microwave radio relay links
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Arabsat (inoperative); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; Kuwait line is probably nonoperational
Ireland general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Israel general assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East although not the largest
domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital
international: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)
Italy general assessment: modern, well developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services
domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (with a total of 5 antennas - 3 for Atlantic Ocean and 2 for Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and NA Eutelsat; 21 submarine cables
Jamaica general assessment: fully automatic domestic telephone network
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); 3 coaxial submarine cables
Japan general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam) (1999)
Jersey general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: 3 submarine cables
Johnston Atoll general assessment: 13 outgoing and 10 incoming commercial lines; adequate telecommunications
domestic: 60-channel submarine cable (broken in January 2002), 22 DSN circuits by satellite, Autodin with standard remote terminal, digital telephone switch, Military Affiliated Radio System (MARS station), UHF/VHF air-ground radio, a link to the Pacific Consolidated Telecommunications Network (PCTN) satellite
international: NA
Jordan general assessment: service has improved recently with the increased use of digital switching equipment, but better access to the telephone system is needed in the rural areas and easier access to pay telephones is needed by the urban public
domestic: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals; fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; connection to international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); participant in MEDARABTEL; international links total about 4,000
Kazakhstan general assessment: service is poor; equipment antiquated
domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; mobile cellular systems are available in most of Kazakhstan
international: international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay; with other countries by satellite and by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
Kenya general assessment: unreliable; little attempt to modernize except for service to business
domestic: trunks are primarily microwave radio relay; business data commonly transferred by a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat
Kiribati general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
note: Kiribati is being linked to the Pacific Ocean Cooperative Telecommunications Network, which should improve telephone service
Korea, North general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Russian (Indian Ocean region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing
Korea, South general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: fiber-optic submarine cable to China; the Russia-Korea-Japan submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)
Kuwait general assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, open wire, and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat
Kyrgyzstan general assessment: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones
domestic: principally microwave radio relay; one cellular provider, probably limited to Bishkek region
international: connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik and 1 Intelsat; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line
Laos general assessment: service to general public is poor but improving, with over 20,000 telephones currently in service and an additional 48,000 expected by 2001; the government relies on a radiotelephone network to communicate with remote areas
domestic: radiotelephone communications
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)
Latvia general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an international capability independent of the Moscow international switch; more facilities are being installed for individual use
domestic: expansion underway in intercity trunk line connections, rural exchanges, and mobile systems; still many unsatisfied subscriber applications
international: international connections are now available via cable and a satellite earth station at Riga, enabling direct connections for most calls (1998)
Lebanon general assessment: telecommunications system severely damaged by civil war; rebuilding well underway
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay and cable
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (erratic operations); coaxial cable to Syria; microwave radio relay to Syria but inoperable beyond Syria to Jordan; 3 submarine coaxial cables
Lesotho general assessment: rudimentary system
domestic: consists of a few landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a minor radiotelephone communication system
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Liberia general assessment: telephone and telegraph service via microwave radio relay network; main center is Monrovia
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Libya general assessment: telecommunications system is being modernized; mobile cellular telephone system became operational in 1996
domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, cellular, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cables to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (1999)
Liechtenstein general assessment: automatic telephone system
domestic: NA
international: linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay
Lithuania general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: a national, fiber-optic cable, interurban, trunk system is nearing completion; rural exchanges are being improved and expanded; mobile cellular systems are being installed; access to the Internet is available; still many unsatisfied telephone subscriber applications
international: landline connections to Latvia and Poland; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite
Luxembourg general assessment: highly developed, completely automated and efficient system, mainly buried cables
domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; buried cable
international: 3 channels leased on TAT-6 coaxial submarine cable (Europe to North America)
Macau general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: HF radiotelephone communication facility; access to international communications carriers provided via Hong Kong and China; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
Madagascar general assessment: system is above average for the region
domestic: open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter links connect regions
international: submarine cable to Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Malawi general assessment: NA
domestic: system employs open-wire lines, microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Malaysia general assessment: modern system; international service excellent
domestic: good intercity service provided on Peninsular Malaysia mainly by microwave radio relay; adequate intercity microwave radio relay network between Sabah and Sarawak via Brunei; domestic satellite system with 2 earth stations
international: submarine cables to India, Hong Kong, and Singapore; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2001)
Maldives general assessment: minimal domestic and international facilities
domestic: interatoll communication through microwave links; all inhabited islands are connected with telephone and fax service
international: satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Mali general assessment: domestic system unreliable but improving; provides only minimal service
domestic: network consists of microwave radio relay, open wire, and radiotelephone communications stations; expansion of microwave radio relay in progress
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)
Malta general assessment: automatic system satisfies normal requirements
domestic: submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
international: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Man, Isle of general assessment: NA
domestic: landline, telefax, mobile cellular telephone system
international: fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, satellite earth station, submarine cable
Marshall Islands general assessment: digital switching equipment; modern services include telex, cellular, internet, international calling, caller ID, and leased data circuits
domestic: Majuro Atoll and Ebeye and Kwajalein islands have regular, seven-digit, direct-dial telephones; other islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes)
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); US Government satellite communications system on Kwajalein (2001)
Martinique general assessment: domestic facilities are adequate
domestic: NA
international: microwave radio relay to Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Saint Lucia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Mauritania general assessment: limited system of cable and open-wire lines, minor microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations (improvements being made)
domestic: mostly cable and open-wire lines; a recently completed domestic satellite telecommunications system links Nouakchott with regional capitals
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 2 Arabsat
Mauritius general assessment: small system with good service
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries
Mayotte general assessment: small system administered by French Department of Posts and Telecommunications
domestic: NA
international: microwave radio relay and HF radiotelephone communications to Comoros (2001)
Mexico general assessment: low telephone density with about 12 main lines per 100 persons; privatized in December 1990; the opening to competition in January 1997 improved prospects for development
domestic: adequate telephone service for business and government, but the population is poorly served; domestic satellite system with 120 earth stations; extensive microwave radio relay network; considerable use of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, and mobile cellular service
international: satellite earth stations - 32 Intelsat, 2 Solidaridad (giving Mexico improved access to South America, Central America, and much of the US as well as enhancing domestic communications), numerous Inmarsat mobile earth stations; linked to Central American Microwave System of trunk connections; high capacity Columbus-2 fiber-optic submarine cable with access to the US, Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, and Italy (1997)
Micronesia, Federated States of general assessment: adequate system
domestic: islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes)
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2002)
Moldova general assessment: inadequate, outmoded, poor service outside Chisinau, some effort to modernize is under way
domestic: new subscribers face long wait for service; mobile cellular telephone service being introduced
international: service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik
Monaco general assessment: modern automatic telephone system
domestic: NA
international: no satellite earth stations; connected by cable into the French communications system
Mongolia general assessment: very low density: about 3.5 telephones for each thousand persons
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region)
Montserrat general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
Morocco general assessment: modern system with all important capabilities; however density is low with only 4.6 main lines available for each 100 persons
domestic: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; Internet available but expensive; principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat; national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay
international: 7 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; participant in Medarabtel; fiber-optic cable link from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia (1998)
Mozambique general assessment: fair system but not available generally (telephone density is only 3.5 telephones for each 1,000 persons)
domestic: the system consists of open-wire lines and trunk connection by microwave radio relay and tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean)
Namibia general assessment: good system; about 6 telephones for each 100 persons
domestic: good urban services; fair rural service; microwave radio relay links major towns; connections to other populated places are by open wire; 100% digital
international: fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to Africa ONE and South African Far East (SAFE) submarine cables through South Africa; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2002)
Nauru general assessment: adequate local and international radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Nepal general assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile cellular telephone network
domestic: NA
international: radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Netherlands general assessment: highly developed and well maintained
domestic: the existing system of multi-conductor cables is gradually being replaced by fiber-optic cables; the density of cellular telephone traffic is rapidly increasing and further modernization of the system is expected in 2001, with the introduction of the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)
international: 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (1996)
Netherlands Antilles general assessment: generally adequate facilities
domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links
international: submarine cables - 2; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
New Caledonia general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
New Zealand general assessment: excellent domestic and international systems
domestic: NA
international: submarine cables to Australia and Fiji; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Nicaragua general assessment: inadequate system being upgraded by foreign investment
domestic: low-capacity microwave radio relay and wire system being expanded; connected to Central American Microwave System
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Niger general assessment: small system of wire, radio telephone communications, and microwave radio relay links concentrated in the southwestern area of Niger
domestic: wire, radiotelephone communications, and microwave radio relay; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations and 1 planned
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)
Nigeria general assessment: an inadequate system, further limited by poor maintenance; major expansion is required and a start has been made
domestic: intercity traffic is carried by coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, a domestic communications satellite system with 19 earth stations, and a coastal submarine cable; mobile cellular facilities and the Internet are available
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); coaxial submarine cable SAFE (South African Far East)
Niue domestic: single-line telephone system connects all villages on island
international: NA
Norfolk Island general assessment: adequate
domestic: NA
international: radiotelephone service with Sydney (Australia)
Northern Mariana Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Norway general assessment: modern in all respects; one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Europe
domestic: Norway has a domestic satellite system; moreover, the prevalence of rural areas encourages the wide use of cellular mobile systems instead of fixed wire systems
international: 2 buried coaxial cable systems; 4 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - NA Eutelsat, NA Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Norway shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden) (1999)
Oman general assessment: modern system consisting of open wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable
domestic: open wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat
Pakistan general assessment: the domestic system is mediocre, but improving; service is adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment in the national telecommunications system on a priority basis, significantly increasing network capacity; despite major improvements in trunk and urban systems, telecommunication services are still not readily available to the majority of the rural population
domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (1999)
Palau general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Panama general assessment: domestic and international facilities well developed
domestic: NA
international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System
Papua New Guinea general assessment: services are adequate and being improved; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
domestic: mostly radiotelephone
international: submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service
Paraguay general assessment: meager telephone service; principal switching center is Asuncion
domestic: fair microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Peru general assessment: adequate for most requirements
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Pan American submarine cable
Philippines general assessment: good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and interisland service adequate
domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations
international: 9 international gateways; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan
Pitcairn Islands general assessment: only party line telephone service is available for this small, closely related community
domestic: party line service only
international: radiotelephone
Poland general assessment: underdeveloped and outmoded system; government aimed to have 10 million telephones in service by 2000; the process of partial privatization of the state-owned telephone monopoly has begun; in 1998 there were over 2 million applicants on the waiting list for telephone service
domestic: cable, open wire, and microwave radio relay; 3 cellular networks; local exchanges 56.6% digital
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat, NA Eutelsat, 2 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions), and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Portugal general assessment: undergoing rapid development in recent years, Portugal's telephone system, by the end of 1998, achieved a state-of-the-art network with broadband, high-speed capabilities and a main line telephone density of 53%
domestic: integrated network of coaxial cables, open wire, microwave radio relay, and domestic satellite earth stations
international: 6 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to Azores; note - an earth station for Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region) is planned
Puerto Rico general assessment: modern system, integrated with that of the US by high-capacity submarine cable and Intelsat with high-speed data capability
domestic: digital telephone system; cellular telephone service
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat; submarine cable to US
Qatar general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: NA
international: tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat
Reunion general assessment: adequate system; principal center is Saint-Denis
domestic: modern open wire and microwave radio relay network
international: radiotelephone communication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Romania general assessment: poor domestic service, but improving
domestic: 90% of telephone network is automatic; trunk network is mostly microwave radio relay, with some fiber-optic cable; about one-third of exchange capacity is digital; roughly 3,300 villages have no service
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat; new digital, international, direct-dial exchanges operate in Bucharest; note - Romania is an active participant in several international telecommunication network projects (1999)
Russia general assessment: the telephone system has undergone significant changes in the 1990s; there are more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; Internet and e-mail services are improving; Russia has made progress toward building the telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; however, a large demand for main line service remains unsatisfied
domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, the telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density
international: Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems
Rwanda general assessment: telephone system primarily serves business and government
domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to the centers of the prefectures by microwave radio relay and, recently, by cellular telephone service; much of the network depends on wire and HF radiotelephone
international: international connections employ microwave radio relay to neighboring countries and satellite communications to more distant countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) in Kigali (includes telex and telefax service)
Saint Helena general assessment: can communicate worldwide
domestic: automatic network
international: HF radiotelephone from Saint Helena to Ascension which is a major coaxial submarine cable relay point between South Africa, Portugal, and UK ; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Saint Kitts and Nevis general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: interisland links to Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) are handled by VHF/UHF/SHF radiotelephone
international: international calls are carried by radiotelephone to Antigua and Barbuda and switched there to submarine cable or to Intelsat; or carried to Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) by radiotelephone and switched to Intelsat
Saint Lucia general assessment: adequate system
domestic: system is automatically switched
international: direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados; international calls beyond these countries are carried by Intelsat from Martinique
Saint Pierre and Miquelon general assessment: adequate
domestic: NA
international: radiotelephone communication with most countries in the world; 1 earth station in French domestic satellite system
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines general assessment: adequate system
domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
international: VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; new SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and to Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia
Samoa general assessment: adequate
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
San Marino general assessment: adequate connections
domestic: automatic telephone system completely integrated into Italian system
international: connected to Italian international network
Sao Tome and Principe general assessment: adequate facilities
domestic: minimal system
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Saudi Arabia general assessment: modern system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic cable systems
international: microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)
Senegal general assessment: good system
domestic: above-average urban system; microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable in trunk system
international: 4 submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Seychelles general assessment: effective system
domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
international: direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Sierra Leone general assessment: marginal telephone and telegraph service
domestic: national microwave radio relay trunk system, made unserviceable by military activities, is now operating from Freetown to Bo and Kenema (April 2001)
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Singapore general assessment: major consideration given to serving business interests; excellent international service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities
international: submarine cables to Malaysia (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), Indonesia, and the Philippines; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)
Slovakia general assessment: a modernization and privatization program is increasing accessibility to telephone service, reducing the waiting time for new subscribers, and generally improving service quality
domestic: predominantly an analog system that is now receiving digital equipment and is being enlarged with fiber-optic cable, especially in the larger cities; mobile cellular capability has been added
international: three international exchanges (one in Bratislava and two in Banska Bystrica) are available; Slovakia is participating in several international telecommunications projects that will increase the availability of external services
Slovenia general assessment: NA
domestic: 100% digital (2000)
international: NA
Solomon Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Somalia general assessment: the public telecommunications system was almost completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; private wireless companies offer service in most major cities and charge the lowest international rates on the continent
domestic: local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers
international: international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite (2001)
South Africa general assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa
domestic: consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
international: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: coastal radiotelephone station at Grytviken
Spain general assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 44 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Sri Lanka general assessment: very inadequate domestic service, particularly in rural areas; likely improvement with privatization of national telephone company and encouragement to private investment; good international service (1999)
domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and two fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems; telephone density remains low at 2.6 main lines per 100 persons (1999)
international: submarine cables to Indonesia and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (1999)
Sudan general assessment: large, well-equipped system by regional standards and being upgraded; cellular communications started in 1996 and have expanded substantially
domestic: consists of microwave radio relay, cable, radiotelephone communications, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (2000)
Suriname general assessment: international facilities are good
domestic: microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Svalbard general assessment: probably adequate
domestic: local telephone service
international: satellite earth station - 1 of unknown type (for communication with Norwegian mainland only)
Swaziland general assessment: a somewhat modern but not an advanced system
domestic: system consists of carrier-equipped, open-wire lines and low-capacity, microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Sweden general assessment: excellent domestic and international facilities; automatic system
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: 5 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)
Switzerland general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean)
Syria general assessment: fair system currently undergoing significant improvement and digital upgrades, including fiber-optic technology
domestic: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); 1 submarine cable; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; participant in Medarabtel
Taiwan general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need
domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe (1999)
Tajikistan general assessment: poorly developed and not well maintained; many towns are not reached by the national network
domestic: cable and microwave radio relay
international: linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; Dushanbe linked by Intelsat to international gateway switch in Ankara (Turkey); satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 2 Intelsat
Tanzania general assessment: fair system operating below capacity and being modernized for better service; VSAT (very small aperture terminal) system under construction
domestic: trunk service provided by open wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and fiber-optic cable; some links being made digital
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Thailand general assessment: service to general public adequate, but investment in technological upgrades reduced by recession; bulk of service to government activities provided by multichannel cable and microwave radio relay network
domestic: microwave radio relay and multichannel cable; domestic satellite system being developed
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Togo general assessment: fair system based on a network of microwave radio relay routes supplemented by open-wire lines and a mobile cellular system
domestic: microwave radio relay and open-wire lines for conventional system; cellular system has capacity of 10,000 telephones
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Symphonie
Tokelau general assessment: adequate
domestic: radiotelephone service between islands
international: radiotelephone service to Samoa; government-regulated telephone service (TeleTok), with 3 satellite earth stations, established in 1997
Tonga general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (1996)
Trinidad and Tobago general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana
Tunisia general assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; Internet access available
domestic: trunk facilities consist of open-wire lines, coaxial cable, and microwave radio relay
international: 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; two international gateway digital switches
Turkey general assessment: undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially with cellular telephones
domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; the number of subscribers to mobile cellular telephone service is growing rapidly
international: international service is provided by three submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linking Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; also by 12 Intelsat earth stations, and by 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2002)
Turkmenistan general assessment: poorly developed
domestic: NA
international: linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; a new telephone link from Ashgabat to Iran has been established; a new exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat
Turks and Caicos Islands general assessment: fair cable and radiotelephone services
domestic: NA
international: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Tuvalu general assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications
domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands
international: NA
Uganda general assessment: seriously inadequate; two cellular systems have been introduced, but a sharp increase in the number of main lines is essential; e-mail and Internet services are available
domestic: intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations, fixed and mobile cellular systems for short range traffic
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; analog links to Kenya and Tanzania
Ukraine general assessment: Ukraine's telecommunication development plan, running through 2005, emphasizes improving domestic trunk lines, international connections, and the mobile cellular system
domestic: at independence in December 1991, Ukraine inherited a telephone system that was antiquated, inefficient, and in disrepair; more than 3.5 million applications for telephones could not be satisfied; telephone density is now rising slowly and the domestic trunk system is being improved; the mobile cellular telephone system is expanding at a high rate
international: two new domestic trunk lines are a part of the fiber-optic Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) system and three Ukrainian links have been installed in the fiber-optic Trans-European Lines (TEL) project which connects 18 countries; additional international service is provided by the Italy-Turkey-Ukraine-Russia (ITUR) fiber-optic submarine cable and by earth stations in the Intelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems
United Arab Emirates general assessment: modern system of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai
domestic: microwave radio relay and coaxial cable
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; submarine cables to Qatar, Bahrain, India, and Pakistan; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom general assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers
United States general assessment: a very large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system
domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country
international: 24 ocean cable systems in use; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000)
Uruguay general assessment: fully digitalized
domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2002)
Uzbekistan general assessment: antiquated and inadequate; in serious need of modernization
domestic: the domestic telephone system is being expanded and technologically improved, particularly in Tashkent and Samarqand, under contracts with prominent companies in industrialized countries; moreover, by 1998, six cellular networks had been placed in operation - four of the GSM type (Global System for Mobile Communication), one D-AMPS type (Digital Advanced Mobile Phone System), and one AMPS type (Advanced Mobile Phone System)
international: linked by landline or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; after the completion of the Uzbek link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable, Uzbekistan will be independent of Russian facilities for international communications; Inmarsat also provides an international connection, albeit an expensive one; satellite earth stations - NA (1998)
Vanuatu general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Venezuela general assessment: modern and expanding
domestic: domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; substantial increase in digitalization of exchanges and trunk lines; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable of digital multimedia services
international: 3 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber-optic network
Vietnam general assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system, but its performance continues to lag behind that of its more modern neighbors
domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; since 1991, main lines in use have been substantially increased and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)
Virgin Islands general assessment: NA
domestic: modern, uses fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: submarine cable and satellite communications; satellite earth stations - NA
Wake Island general assessment: satellite communications; 1 DSN circuit off the Overseas Telephone System (OTS)
domestic: NA
international: NA
Wallis and Futuna general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
West Bank general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
note: Israeli company BEZEK and the Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for communication services in the West Bank
Western Sahara general assessment: sparse and limited system
domestic: NA
international: tied into Morocco's system by microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) linked to Rabat, Morocco
World general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
Yemen general assessment: since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network
domestic: the national network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, tropospheric scatter, and GSM cellular mobile telephone systems
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 2 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and Djibouti
Yugoslavia general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Zambia general assessment: facilities are aging but still among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa
domestic: high-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities; several cellular telephone services in operation; Internet service is widely available; very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Zimbabwe general assessment: system was once one of the best in Africa, but now suffers from poor maintenance; more than 100,000 outstanding requests for connection despite an equally large number of installed but unused main lines
domestic: consists of microwave radio relay links, open-wire lines, radiotelephone communication stations, fixed wireless local loop installations, and a substantial mobile cellular network; Internet connection is available in Harare and planned for all major towns and for some of the smaller ones
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat; two international digital gateway exchanges (in Harare and Gweru)

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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