Euro-IR Project Main Index

Internet Rights Country Report

Republic of Albania

July 2001

Written by Christina H Haralanova

    GDP per capita: $995 (1999)
    Population: 3,400,000 (2000)
    Telephone Lines: 42,000 (1995)
    Telephone Density:3.65 (2000)
    Mobile Cellular Lines: 3,100 (1999)
    Cellular Density: 0.76 (2000)
    Internet Service Providers: 4 [1]

Telecommunications Infrastructure:

The telecommunications infrastructure of Albania is underdeveloped. The telephone penetration rate is very low - about 15 telephones/1,000 persons. The local network is primitive - there are about 11,000 telephones in the capital city Tirana. The intercity system is based on obsolete wire system and it no longer provides telephone connection to 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. The international lines are inadequate; they are carried out through the Tirana exchange and transmitted through Italy on 240 microwave and through Greece on 150 microwave radio relay circuits. [2]

In July 2000 AMC, the GSM operator of Albania was successfully privatized, and immediately after that the Government of Albania called for a tender for a second GSM operator, which was won by the British Vodafone company. [3]

Government Policy on Promoting ICT Infrastructure Growth:

The Law on Telecommunications in the Republic of Albania was passed on June 14, 2000 and stated the long-term Policy Objectives of the country, as follows:
    "The long-termobjective of development of telecommunications policy in the Republic of Albania is the harmonized development of telecommunications infrastructure and its gradual expansion throughout the country, so as to ensure:
    • access to basic telephone services as affordable prices;
    • the full range of modern services is accessible by all the population of the Republic Albania;
    • liberalization of the market, competition of services andchoice for users;
    • better consumer protection." [4]

    The Ministry of Transport and Communications regulates the telecommunications sector in Albania. Albtelecom, a fixed phone monopoly will undergo complete privatization in 2002, with liberalization planned for 2003. The Albanian Government announced in March 2001, the specifics of privatization, in which potential owners of Albtelecom may apply for up to 85% stake in the company. Because only 12% of urban Albanian households have telephone connections, the prospects for this telecommunications market are favourable.

    Albania's Telecommunications Regulation Body (ERT) allowed 15 small telephone operators licenses to expand telecommunications services to rural Albania in June 2000. Investments will vary between US$ 100,000 and US $ 500,000, with local operators seeing a return on the investment by 2004. A company may receive a license, if it agrees to: provide coverage for all villages in the commune, submit business, financial and development plans, submit an example of the contract it will offer to subscribers, provide digital phone services, and provide a deposit equivalent to the licensing fee. [5]

    ISP in the Republic of Albania

    Till January 13, 2001, the Internet Services Providers in the Republic of Bulgaria were 2, as follows:
    • Abbissnet - Albanian internet service provider;

    • Albanian Data Network - Internet provider for the public and corporate clients. High-speed dedicated lines. Other services include web-hosting, page design, computer setup and configuration. [6]

    Now the Page of the Government of Albania shows four ISP's:
    • Adanet

    • Interalb

    • ICC for U

    • Abbisnet,

    which demonstrates a significant growth.

    List of Sources

    Euro-IR Project Main Index