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Communications (Telephone, Post, Internet, TV, Radio)

Germany - Communications (Telephone, Post, Internet, TV, Radio)

Recent liberalization of Germany's telecommunications market has led to competition between the privatized national provider, Deutsche Telekom, and a number of competitors, bringing significantly reduced call costs.

If you wish to use Deutsche Telekom, you can apply for a landline at one of their many customer service centres, called T-Punkts. The installation charge is in the region of EUR30 - EUR60, depending on whether it is a new line or the transfer of an existing line to your name. ISDN is available for an installation charge of around EUR60.00, with a monthly usage charge of around EUR26.00. Deutsche Telekom is also now introducing DSL into certain areas of the country. Itemised telephone bills are sent out on a monthly basis, and are payable within seven days. Telephone bills can be paid at the customer service centre, a post office or by bank transfer.

Mobile phone services are provided by a number of different carriers including Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), Mannesmann Mobilfunk, 02 Germany and E-Plus and 02.

Post office services have recently been reformed in Germany, to include a range of retail and banking services. The postal service is fast and efficient, with 95% of internal post being delivered within a day and 99% within two days. In rural areas, postmen act like mini post-offices, selling stamps and telephone cards and even providing basic banking services.

There are terrestrial, cable and satellite TV services, with the vast majority of German households subscribing to a cable or satellite service. Television and radio broadcasting are regulated by state governments, who also operate public services, competing with the many commercial broadcasters. Terrestrial services are almost exclusively in German. Cable TV includes four English channels: CNN, NBC Super Channel, MTV and BBC World, while a small number of English channels can also be picked up using satellite TV. If you have a suitable decoder it is possible to pick up Sky TV from the UK. English-language radio stations can also be accessed via cable and satellite services.

There are a small number of national newspapers, and a very large number of regional and local newspapers, virtually all in German. It is possible to buy European and American newspapers in Germany on the day of publication or shortly after.

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