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Telecommunications in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Telecommunications in Bosnia and Herzegovina include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Radio and television[edit]

The Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) is charged with regulating the country's radio and television media.[2]

During the Bosnian war, most media became propaganda tools of the authorities, armies, and factions. Since then, efforts have been made—with limited success—to develop media which bridge ethnic boundaries.[3]

TV is the chief news source. The most influential broadcasters are the public radio and TV stations operated by the Bosniak-Croat and Serb entities. The Office of the High Representative (OHR), the leading international civilian agency in Bosnia, oversaw the development of national public broadcasting. The OHR worked to create a non-nationalist, civic media.[3]

Sarajevo is home to Al-Jazeera Balkans TV, an offshoot of the Qatar-based pan-Arab news network, broadcasting in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.[3]


Telecom and radio infrastructure on a rooftop in the city of Pale, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina (c. 2012)

The telecommunications sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing liberalisation. Up to 2006, there were three licensed fixed telecommunication operators: BH Telecom, based in Sarajevo, covering 51% of the population of BiH and most of the territory of the Federation of BiH; Telekom Srpske, based in Banja Luka, covering 34% of the population of BiH, mainly in the territory of Republica Srpska; and HT Eronet, covering 16% of the population of BiH, mainly in the Federation of BiH. The three companies enjoyed a de facto monopoly over their operating areas, although they have nationwide licenses for domestic and international calls.[4]: 180  New competitors, such as Telemach, have entered the marked since the start of its liberalisation in 2007.[5][6] The numbers of fixed telephony service subscribers were 849,027 in 2001 and 1,022,475 in 2007. Fixed telephony penetration rates increased from 22.35% (2001) to 26.41% (2007).[4]: 189–190 

The mobile telephony sector is highly competitive,[citation needed] as the three main telephone operators compete nationwide with the brands BH Mobile, M:Tel and ERONET.[4]: 182  Mobile networks cover 99% of the population and have a 63.29% penetration rate, with 2,450,425 subscribers in 2007, doubling from 2004.[4]: 192  All three mobile operators operate on 4G+ network.[7]

The TLC operators are still mainly state-owned and there is strong resistance to privatisation, with 90% of BH Telecom and 50.1% of HT Mostar owned by the Federation of BiH. In Republika Srpska, Telekom Srpska was privatised and is now mainly (65%) owned by Telekom Srbija[4]: 186 

The three main TLC operators have strong links to political parties. In 2003, an OHR-mandated audit revealed that BH Telekom, RS Telekom and HT Mostar suffered substantial misure of funds, corruption and mismanagement, with a total loss of USD 57 million in 2002. Pressure for reform was raised by the public revelation of high salaries and financial support to political parties. This led to the sacking of the board of Bosniak-controlled BH Telekom in 2003. [8] Yet, telecom companies continued being used as cash-machines by Bosnian political parties. In 2010, a U.S. cable defined Eronet and HT Mostar as HDZ BiH's "traditional cash cow", noting how "As Federation Minister of Finance in 1999, Covic helped arrange the transfer of Eronet to three private companies owned by HDZ-BiH interests. [Stipe] Prlic, as HT Mostar's General Manager, challenged the privatization in court and won, arguing that the Federation government had not authorized it. Covic has fought Prlic's reappointment ever since."[9][10]

The telecommunications market is regulated by the Communications Regulatory Agency, which also regulates broadcasting and Internet sectors.[6]


Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms.[2]

The Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the organization responsible for self-regulation of online and print media content. In 2012 the Press Council considered 176 complaints alleging inaccurate or libelous reporting by print and online media (103 for print and 73 for online media), accepting 35 as valid and rejecting 19 as unfounded.[2]

The law provides for freedom of speech and press; however, the government does not always respect press freedom in practice. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina law prohibits hate speech. The Republika Srpska law does not specifically proscribe hate speech, although the law prohibits causing ethnic, racial, or religious hatred. Independent analysts note a continuing tendency of politicians and other leaders to label unwanted criticism as hate speech.[2]

The law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.[2]

See also[edit]

Public domain material[edit]

  • This article incorporates material from websites or documents of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Regulatorna agencija za komunikacije Bosne i Hercegovine) "2012 editions".[20]
  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook (2024 ed.). CIA. (Archived 2014 edition.)
  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Communications: Bosnia and Herzegovina", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bosnia and Herzegovina", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Bosnia-Hercegovina profile - Media", BBC News, 18 December 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e AGCOM & CRA, 2008, Overview of the Communications Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  5. ^ Communications Regulatory Agency, 2009a, Public Register of Public Broadcasters
  6. ^ a b Tarik Jusić, "Bosnia and Herzegovina", EJC Media Landscapes
  7. ^ "Isprobali smo 4G mrežu u Sarajevu: Brzine i do 230 MBPS".
  8. ^ Nations in Transit, 2004
  9. ^ Wikileaks, SARAJEVO 00000061 001.2 OF 002
  10. ^ Scoop.co.nz
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Telekomunikacijski pokazatelji BiH u 2019. godini (PDF). Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Welcome to the UTIC's web pages". University Tele-Informatics Centre (UTIC). Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  13. ^ "NIC.ba Registracija domene" [NIC.ba Domain Registration] (in Bosnian). University Tele-Informatics Centre (UTIC). Retrieved 19 September 2013. English translation.
  14. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  15. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  16. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  17. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  18. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  19. ^ "Stopa korištenosti interneta u BiH za 2021. Godinu 95,55%".
  20. ^ Telecommunications indicators for 2012. Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.

External links[edit]