Telecommunications in Bhutan

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Telecommunications in Bhutan includes telephones, radio, television, and the Internet.


  • Main lines: 27,900 lines in use, 179th in the world (2012).[1]
  • Mobile cellular: 560,000 lines, 165th in the world (2012).[1]
  • Telephone system:
    • general assessment: Urban towns and district headquarters have telecommunications services (2012);[1]
    • domestic: very low tele-density, domestic service is poor especially in rural areas, mobile cellular service available since 2003 is now widely available (2012);[1]
    • international: international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India (2012);[1]
    • satellite earth station: 1 Intelsat (2012).[1]
  • Country codes: Bhutan +975,[1] Phuentsholing (0)1, Thimphu (0)2, Bumthang (0)3, Paro (0)8.

Radio and television[edit]

  • First radio station, Radio NYAB, privately launched in 1973, is now state-owned (2012).[1]
  • Five private radio stations are currently broadcasting (2012).[1]
  • Radios: 37,000 (1997).
  • The Bhutan Broadcasting Service first commenced television transmissions in June 1999, upon legalizing television,[2] one of the last countries in the world to do so.[1]
  • Cable TV service offers dozens of Indian and other international channels (2012).[1]
  • Televisions: 11,000 (1999).[citation needed]


  • Internet hosts: 14,590 hosts, 126th in the world (2012).[1]
  • IPv4: 23,552 addresses allocated, 32.9 per 1000 people (2012).[3][4]
  • Internet users: 182,338 users, 155th in the world; 25.4% of the population, 137th in the world (2012).[5][6]
  • Fixed broadband: 16,015 subscriptions, 135th in the world; 2.2% of population, 124th in the world (2012).[6][7]
  • Mobile broadband: 17,851 subscriptions, 133rd in the world; 2.5% of population, 122nd in the world (2012).[6][8]
  • Internet Service Providers: Bhutan's main and only ISP is Druknet, owned by Bhutan Telecom. It provides a dial-up service, at a reasonable cost.
  • Internet cafes: Located in most large towns.

See also[edit]

  • Censorship on the Internet
  • Radio Waves, a radio station in located in Thimphu, Bhutan. Formed in December 2010, it is currently run by Kelzang Thinley and broadcasts in Dzongkha and English.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Communications", Bhutan, World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 5 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  4. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  6. ^ a b c 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
  7. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.

External links[edit]