|Kyrgyzstan » Travel info » Communications and the media » Telephones|
Country Code + 996
Many places can be dialed direct – but you will have to obtain the code – for some places, however, it is necessary to call the operator and book the call.
Dialing Codes – for international calls – the country code is preceded by 00.
For other long distance calls – the area code is preceded by 0.
Call offices – In most towns there is a Call Office – “Peregovorny Punkt” where you can book a call. The operator makes a connection and you are called to a booth when it is ready.
Local calls from a private phone (i.e. within the city or district) are basically free – actually there is a limit to the free calls but very few people exceed this. Commercial organizations are charged according to a different tariff and may ask you to pay to use their phone.
Long distance calls – i.e. anything outside the local area or calls to mobile phones – are charged according to the current tariff.
The world is divided up into the following regions:
Some people have their phones blocked so that they can make only local calls – or so that they can only make long distance calls through the operator and using a password.
Pay phones – In Bishkek there are a number of public pay phones. There are two main types – one uses a jetton (or token), which gives a short period for conversation. You dial the number and insert the jetton when the call is answered. The second type uses a prepaid plastic card for payment – deducting units from your total credit.
International connections – may use satellites with a Simplex effect – i.e. the line is active in one direction only at any one time. This creates, what for some people is a disturbing feature, the appearance that the line has gone dead whenever they are talking …
Cheap International calls – It used to be possible to operate using “Call Back” services to make cheap international calls. This has been declared as no longer legal. The facility of using the internet to make cheap calls, however, is available from many internet cafes.
Mobile Phones – There are two main providers within the republic – KATEL and BITEL. Bitel operate on the GSM standard. Coverage is limited to Bishkek and the Chui valley in the North (Katel also works around Lake Issyk Kul), and in Osh and Djalal Abad in the South.
Satellite phones will work throughout the republic even in the mountains – although reception may be little haphazard at times.
Directory Enquiries etc. – there are directory enquiry services but you will need to speak Russian:
Hotlines – hopefully, you will never need these – but there are a number of hotlines which you can use in emergency. In theory there is supposed to be an English speaker available on these numbers
In addition, you should keep a contact number for your own diplomatic representative to the Kyrgyz Republic (Embassy or Consulate).
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