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Kuwait Communications


Local calls are free and can be made from either shops or local telephone exchanges. Overseas calls can be made from hotels or the telephone exchanges.

Kuwait's modern telecommunications system was heavily damaged during the Iraqi occupation. The government has made strides at reconstruction, but in 1993 work remained to restore the system to its prewar level of excellence. In 1989 there were 285,000 telephones, or fourteen telephones per 100 inhabitants. High-capacity coaxial cables and radio-relay systems linked Kuwait with its neighbours. In 1993, however, the coaxial cable to Iraq was still inoperable.

Before the war, the country had four earth satellite stations working with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (Arabsat) system. All four stations were destroyed in the war. Now, however, the country has 6; 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat.

Kuwait has 10 TV channels (4 controlled by the Ministry of Information), 2 modern English FM stations, mostly targeting the Westerners residing in Kuwait (one playing latest Western pop music and hits, while the other one playing Jazz, Blues and other light music), and a few Arabic radio stations.


Telephones - main lines in use
486,900 (2003)

Telephones - mobile cellular
1.42 million (2003)

Telephone system
general assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: country code - 965; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations
AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)

1.175 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations
13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)

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