Communications in Iraq

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This article describes the communication infrastructure of Iraq.

Contents

[edit] Telephone system

The 2003 Iraq war severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq, including international connections. USAID is overseeing the repair of switching capability and the construction of mobile and satellite communications facilities.

Main telephone lines in use: 675,000 (as of 1995 - an unknown number of lines was destroyed in the war)
Number of mobile cellular phones: 20,000 (as of 2002)
Domestic telephone network: Repairs to switches and lines destroyed in the recent fighting continue but sabotage remains a problem. Cellular service is expected to be in place in 2005 or 2006.
International connections:

  • 2 Intelsat satellite earth stations (1 Atlantic Ocean region, 1 Indian Ocean region)
  • 1 Intersputnik satellite earth station (Atlantic Ocean region)
  • 1 Arabsat satellite earth station (inoperative)
  • Coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey (the line to Kuwait is probably not operational)

[edit] Broadcast stations

There are approximately 80 radio broadcast stations and 21 television broadcast stations, as of 2004. There are approximately 4.85 million radios and 1.75 million televisions in Iraq (as of 1997).

Until the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, broadcasting was largely the domain of the Iraqi Broadcasting and Television Establishment (IBTE). The IBTE, in turn, was dominated by the Ministry of Information. The IBTE had a habit of airing programming praising Saddam Hussein, including poetry readings when the station was down and "music videos" praising Saddam. Most of the transmitters were in the Baghdad area, but there were also a few regional stations. The IBTE aired former CBS reporter Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein as well as the news from Baghdad Bob during the run up to the US invasion of Iraq. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the IBTE was dissolved. As of 2005, there has been a vibrant media scene in Iraq, though limited by the continuing insurgency. The current regulator is the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission. The current public broadcaster is the Iraqi Media Network, which is a successor to the Coalition Provisional Authority's radio stations and several other radio and television stations. The Iraqi Media Network currently operates the Radio of the Republic of Iraq and the government supported al-Iraqiya TV station. Many private TV stations are available such as the popular Al Sharqiya. Other radio stations showcase the diversity of opinions, from the hard-line Islamic line of some stations to Radio Sawa, politically-oriented stations, and Kurdish stations. The BBC World Service also broadcasts here. AFN and BFBS also have stations in here for their personnel. Other foreign radio stations broadcasting in Iraq include the UAE's Middle East Broadcasting Centre(MBC), Radio Monte Carlo Moyen-Orient, and Radio France International. Sources: World Radio Television Handbook, 1990, 2003, and 2005; MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia; Frontline, a PBS documentary

[edit] Internet

Until the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Internet access was tightly controlled and very few people were thought to be online; in 2002 it was estimated that only 25,000 Iraqis used the internet. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussien, Internet access has become commonplace. Uruklink, originally the sole Iraqi Internet service provider, now faces competition from other ISPs, including broadband satellite internet access services from both Middle East and European VSAT hubs, like for example Technologie Satelitarne from Poland or BusinessCom Internet via Satellite.

The top level domain of Iraq is IQ.

Sources: BBC, Uruklink

[edit] Postal system

A contract for $55 million for a study of the postal system has been awarded as part of the social and economic infrastructure reconstruction program.(2003)

[edit] References

ar:نظم الاتصالات في العراق

Communications in Iraq

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