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Telecommunications in Eritrea

Telecommunications in Eritrea are under the authority of the Government of Eritrea.


  • Infrastructure 1
  • Telephones 2
  • Radio and television 3
  • Internet 4
    • Internet censorship and surveillance 4.1
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Eritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation, more commonly known as EriTel, is the sole operator of both landline and mobile telephone communication infrastructure in Eritrea. However, it is one of several internet service providers in the country.[1]

The domestic telecommunications infrastructure is very inadequate. Most fixed line telephones are located in Asmara, the capital and largest city. Cell phones are in increasing use throughout the country. The government is seeking international tenders to improve the system.[2]

On 13 April 2006, Eritrea received a soft loan from the government of China to upgrade their communication infrastructure. The total sum loaned to EriTel was $23 million. All major cities are connected to the mobile telephone system in Eritrea except for Nakfa, Afabet, and Asseb. Afabet and Nakfa are expected to be online by July 2006.


  • Fixed phones in use: 58,500 lines, 159th in the world (2011).[2]
  • Mobile cellular phones in use: 241,900 lines, 175th in the world (2011).[2]
  • Combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership is less than 5 per 100 persons (2011).[2]
  • International country code: 291.[2]

Radio and television

  • The government controls all broadcast media with private ownership prohibited. Purchases of satellite dishes and subscriptions to international broadcast media are permitted.[2]
  • Radio networks: 2 state-owned (2007).[2]
  • Radios: 345,000 (1997).
  • TV stations: 1 state-owned (2007).[2]
  • Televisions: 1,000 (1997).


  • Internet users: 48,692 users, 180th in the world; 0.8% of the population, 211th in the world (2012).[3]
  • Fixed broadband: 122 subscriptions, 192th (last) in the world; 0.0% of the population, 192nd (last) in the world (2012).[4]
  • Mobile broadband: unknown.[5]
  • Internet hosts: 701 hosts, 177th in the world (2012).[2]
  • Internet service providers (ISPs): 4 (2005) - EriTel, CTS, TFanus, Ewan.

Internet censorship and surveillance

  • Listed as Under Surveillance by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) in 2008, 2009, not in 2010, and again from 2011 to the present.[6]

Eritrea has not set up a widespread automatic Internet filtering system, but it does not hesitate to order blocking of several diaspora websites critical of the regime. Access to these sites is blocked by two of the Internet service providers, Erson and Ewan, as are pornographic websites and YouTube. Self-censorship is said to be widespread.[7]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

  1. ^ "Eritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel)", International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Eritrea", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 31 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  4. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  6. ^ Internet Enemies, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 12 March 2012
  7. ^ "Countries under surveillance: Eritrea", Reporters Without Borders, March 2011

External links

  • EriTel website
  • PanAfriL10n page on Eritrea
  • GSM World page on Eritrea
  • Ministry of Information - Eritrea
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