Telecommunications in the Central African Republic

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Telecommunications in the Central African Republic includes radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet as well as the postal system.

Persistent conflict has hampered telecommunication and media development the Central African Republic. There are active television services, radio stations, internet service providers, and mobile phone carriers. Radio is the most-popular communications medium.[1]

Socatel is the leading provider for both Internet and mobile phone access throughout the country. The primary governmental regulating bodies of telecommunications are the Ministère des Postes (Ministry of Posts), and Télécommunications et des Nouvelles Technologies (Telecommunications and New Technologies). Support is received from the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) within the International Telecommunication Union to improve telecommunications infrastructure.[citation needed]

Radio and television[edit]

  • Radio stations: the State-owned radio network, Radio Centrafrique, is supplemented by a small number of privately owned broadcast stations as well as a few community radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007).[2]
  • Television stations: Government-owned network, Radiodiffusion Television Centrafricaine (Central Television Broadcasting), provides domestic TV broadcasting; licenses for 2 private TV stations were pending (2007).[2]

In Bangui, UN-sponsored Radio Ndeke Luka ("bird of luck") provides balanced output, and rebroadcasts international news programming. Other radio and TV stations are run by the state-run Radiodiffusion-Television Centrafricaine and provide little coverage of the political opposition. There are about two dozen privately owned radio stations. Many, such as Radio Notre Dame, run by religious organisations.[1]

Starting 24 November 2011 La Radio et la Télévision nationale centrafricaine (TVCA) (Central African Radio (CAR) and National Television) are available via satellite. This move brought state-run national radio and television coverage to the entire country.[3]

Telephones[edit]

  • Main lines: 5,600 lines in use, 209th in the world (2012).[2]
  • Mobile cellular: 1.1 million lines, 157th in the world (2012).[2]
  • Telephone system: The network consists principally of microwave radio relay and low-capacity, low-powered radiotelephone communication; limited telephone service with less than one fixed-line connection per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular service providers, cellular usage is increasing from a low base; most fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone services are concentrated in the capital, Bangui (2011).[2]

GSM coverage was for a long time limited to the capital area. But in June 2006 coverage was expanded at least to Berberati in the western part of the country. There are currently two GSM-900 mobile operators, Telecel CAR and NationLink Telecom RCA. A third network, Centrafrique Telecom Plus closed down in late 2005 after failing to attract more than 5,000 subscribers and failing to renew its license, in accordance with the then new Bozize government policies.[citation needed]

Internet[edit]

  • Internet users:
    • 151,716 users, 160th in the world; 3.0% of the population, 195th in the world (2012).[5][6]
    •   22,600 users, 192nd in the world (2009).[2]
  • IPv4: 4,352 addresses allocated, less than 0.05% of the world total, 0.9 addresses per 1000 people (2012).[7][8]

Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight.[9]

Although the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, authorities occasionally arrest journalists critical of the government and in some cases the government impedes individuals’ right to free speech. Imprisonment for defamation and censorship were abolished in 2005; however, journalists found guilty of libel or slander face fines of 100,000 to eight million CFA francs ($200 to $16,000 USD). The law provides for imprisonment and fines of as much as one million CFA francs ($2,000 USD) for journalists who use the media to incite disobedience among security forces or incite persons to violence, hatred, or discrimination. Similar fines and imprisonment of six months to two years may be imposed for the publication or broadcast of false or fabricated information that "would disturb the peace."[9]

Postal System[edit]

Direction des services postaux de l’Office National des Postes et de l'Épargne (Department of Postal Services National Post Office and Savings) is the government organization responsible for the postal service.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Central African Republic profile: Media", BBC News, 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Communications: Central African Republic", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 13 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  3. ^ "La Radio et la télévision centrafricaine enfin sur satellite!" (French), La diplomatie de Centrafrique à Paris, CAR Embassy in Paris. English translation. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  4. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  6. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000–2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  7. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  8. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Central African Republic", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 28 March 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.

External links[edit]