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Russia - Communications (Telephone, Post, Internet, TV, Radio)
Russia has three main mobile phone network providers: MTS, BeeLine, and Megafon, offering similar services and coverage. Most of the country has mobile phone coverage, except for some very remote areas. Russia also has roaming agreements with many international network providers.
There are also three satellite phone services covering all parts of the country.
The postal system in Russia is very poor and extremely slow. It is common for items to go astray. Delivery of airmail to Western European countries reportedly takes several weeks, while inland mail delivery is also slow and unreliable. Many expatriates rent a PO Box in Helsinki, and have their post forwarded from to Moscow or St Petersburg, as this is faster. Post offices are usually open between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
There are a large number of internet providers but the quality of service varies, and connections are slow and unreliable compared with other countries. Major providers include Cityline, Matrix, and Russia Online. Broadband and cable internet access are available. Typical internet charges are the equivalent of around US$30-$50 per month.
Russia has a large broadcasting market, with a combination of state-owned and commercial TV and radio stations. Following earlier liberalization, the state has recently taken back greater control over the national networks. Cable and satellite TV are available, with a range of English language channels including BBC, CNN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel. In 2005 a new state-funded English-language satellite channel was launched by the Kremlin, Russia Today, which presents world news from a 'Russian perspective.'. On the radio, the 'Voice of Russia' broadcasts regularly in English.
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