Slovenia - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Slovenia's infrastructure is relatively developed, and the government is investing ever more in it to take advantage of its geographic, trade, and cultural potential. There is a good transportation network, containing 19,586 kilometers (12,143 miles) of roads (1998), including good quality expressways. Construction of highways is a priority, with US$4 billion in funding for 700 kilometers (435 miles) of highways to be completed by 2000. There are 3 major airports. Upgrading rail links will cost US$2.5 billion by the year 2005, with priority given to the east-west and northwest-southeast corridors. The Adriatic port of Koper, near Trieste in Italy, serves as a principle port for Austrian and Hungarian exports and is essential for Czech and Slovak exports.

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Slovenia 199 406 356 150.5 84 9.8 250.9 99.34 250
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Yugoslavia 107 297 259 N/A 23 1.9 18.8 7.65 80
Hungary 186 689 437 145.5 105 17.7 58.9 93.13 600
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

Slovenia's energy sector is state-owned and derives most of its output from nuclear plants (38.2 percent), thermal plants burning fossil fuels (37.1 percent), and hydroelectric facilities (24.7 percent). Electricity production was 13.18 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) and consumption stood at 10.661 billion kWh in 1998. Slovenia also exports some energy. The German Siemens and the French engineering group Framatome have won a $38 million contract to replace 2 steam generators at the Krsko nuclear power plant, jointly owned by the Slovenian and Croatian electricity companies. American-owned Westinghouse has also announced its contracts to supply fuel assemblies to the plant.

In communications, Slovenia has been at the leading edge of the Internet revolution, with the highest concentration in Eastern Europe of Internet connections per inhabitant (and per server), and it offers a promising ground for emerging electronic commerce players. It has a well-developed modern telecommunications infrastructure and ranks second in Eastern Europe, after Hungary, in terms of cellular telephone penetration (4.5 percent) and telephone density is 36 percent. A second cellular service provider, Simobil, a joint venture between Telia of Sweden (25 percent) and 8 Slovene companies, including Intereuropa (15 percent) and switching manufacturer Iskratel (15 percent), that is using the pan-European Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) standard, has recently joined the leading cellular company, Mobitel. At the end of 1997, Mobitel had a total of 100,000 cellular subscribers, out of which approximately 60 percent were GSM users. In traditional telecommunications, the national monopoly , Telekom Slovenije (ST), will invest about $700 million to expand and modernize in preparation for its full privatization. ST will retain its fixed-line monopoly until 2000. Slovenia's ambition is to become a transit area for Balkan communications connections and talks are under way with several countries in the region. Competition in this area, however, may come from Hungary.

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