Estonia - Infrastructure, power, and communications

The transportation infrastructure includes 1,018 kilometers (634 miles) of railroads but only 132 kilometers (82 miles) of electrified rail lines. There are 10,935 kilometers (6,835 miles) of paved roads, including 75 kilometers (47 miles) of expressways. Estonia had 320 kilometers (200 miles) of navigable waterways and 420 kilometers (263 miles) of natural gas pipelines in 1992. All international flights use the Tallinn Airport, and there are several ports on the Baltic Sea, the port of Tallinn being the third largest in the Baltic Sea. A two-thirds stake in the state-run Eesti Raudtee railroad company was expected to be sold in a tender (possibly to RailAmerica) and the second-largest city, Tartu, was also expected to sell its public transportation company AS Liikor to a private investor in 2000.

Estonia's 2 oil-shale power plants produce twice what is consumed domestically. Under Soviet rule the country exported energy to Russia and Latvia but these markets dried up after independence. The government is forming a joint venture with the American NRG Energy company to renovate and operate the plants, bringing them into line with international environmental standards, and its priorities include creating an energy connection to western European electricity grids via an undersea cable.

The telecommunications market in Estonia is among the most liberalized in Eastern Europe. In 1998 a 49 percent stake in the state-held Eesti Telekom was sold to a consortium of state-controlled Telia (Sweden) and Sonera (Finland), and the government was considering selling the remainder of its stake in the company. Modern phone lines extend throughout Estonia. There are 3 mobile phone service providers: Eesti Mobiiltelefon (a subsidiary of Eesti Telekom), Radiolinja Eesti (a subsidiary of Finland's Radiolinja), and Ritabell (a joint venture between the British Millicom International and local Levi-com). Estonia has the highest number of mobile phone users per capita in Central and Eastern Europe. Eesti Telefon, the fixed line division of Eesti Telekom, had a monopoly in domestic and international fixed line calls until 2001. In 2000, it had 521,901 subscribers (36.3 lines per 100 inhabitants), and the 3 cell phone operators had 514,000 users (35.7 per 100 inhabitants). The number of cell phones is expected to grow to 700,000 in 2003, when 1 out of every 2 Estonians is expected to own a cell phone. Estonia has one of the highest numbers of Internet subscribers in Eastern Europe, and the government intends to provide all schools with Internet access. In 2000 over 28 percent of the Estonians were online and 34 percent of them banked over the Internet.

User Contributions:

R. Phillips
Is the electric power in Estonia 110v. 220 v. AC or DC

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