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Moscow - Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)


Obtaining telephone service in Moscow is relatively easy, since only a handful of companies provide residential telephone service. Comstar states that it serves about 90 percent of Moscow's residential units for telephone and other services. The company provides both individual service and "whole building" service for the developers and owners of residential buildings.

The company is located at 127051, Moscow, Petrovsky Blv., 12/3, and can be contacted via telephone at +7 (495) 956-00-00.

Mobile telephones are also popular options in Moscow. There three mobile service providers – MTS, BeeLine, and Megafone – that handle the majority of the city's cell phone service. Phones and service can be purchased at any of the major telecom outlets throughout Moscow. Coverage under these providers extends across Europe and major cities in Siberia, although there are some dead zones in rural areas.

There are two types of mobile phone numbers. The first is a city number, which is indistinguishable from a landline number. The second is a Federal number, which is accessed as if the caller was placing a call to another country. While the city numbers are easier to remember, they are more expensive than Federal numbers, and carry a flat charge on top of the per minute rate. The flat charge can be as much as $20 per month.

Comstar also provides the majority of the city's cable television service, offering both individual and “whole building" packages. The company's cable package includes 16 Russian channels, as well as 70 international channels including CNN, The Discovery Channel, Hallmark, VH-1, and Eurosport.

Other cable television providers include Comcor-TV, Kosmos-TV, Divo-TV, and NTV Plus. Comcor-TV and Kosmos-TV offer English speaking services, but do not cover all areas of Moscow. NTV Plus offers television services via satellite, so they are able to cover all areas of the city.

Website information:

Comcor-TV

www.kosmos-tv.ru/

Divo-TV

www.ntvplus.com


The majority of dial up internet service is obtained either through internet cafes, or via dial up internet cards, which can be readily purchased at stores, cafes, and kiosks. Some of the more popular providers of internet access cards are MTU (dialup.mtu.ru), which provides access for between $0.30 and $1.00 per hour, and Russia On-Line (www.online.ru, which offers access at $0.90 per hour.

Comstar is the largest provider of high speed internet access. Although the service is substantially faster than dial up, it is not reliable. Kosmos-TV and Comcor-TV also offer high speed internet in conjunction with their cable television packages.

A relatively new option, Stream.RU, has emerged as a preferred provider of high speed internet service. It offers 1 GB of data transfer for $30 per month, at transfer speeds of about 1024 Kbit per second. Setup fees for this service cost about $100.

Numerous restaurants, cafes, airports, and bars offer wireless internet hotspots, so you can connect to the internet from your laptop without worrying about modem compatibility. Although a few offer free wireless internet, most of these places charge about $10 per hour for access. You can purchase connection time onsite when you connect online, or by paying at the counter.




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