Telecom, IT

Significant developments have taken place in Estonia in terms of elecommunication infrastructure, leading Estonia to be one of the most advanced of the CEE countries.

Key points in IT & Telecom development in Estonia:

  • Data exchange layer X-Road – secure access to nearly all Estonian national databases
  • e-Tax Board – Income Tax  Statements can be filled out via Internet (since Spring 2001)
  • 69% of population are using Internet and 86% Internet banking (Spring 2008)
  • e-elections (local 2005, national 2007)
  • the Government is using web-based document system (since August 2000)
  • all Estonian schools are connected to the Internet, as a result of state-run “Tiger Leap” program
  • over 800 Public Internet Access Points
  • there are 1169 free wireless Internet zones around the country (Spring 2008)
  • e-billing (July 2000)
  • mobile parking project (July 1, 2000)
  • world`s first MPS project for society (May 3, 2000)
  • digital Signature Act came into force (December 2000)
  • IT College (September 2000)
  • ID card – new primary domestic identification document (January 2002)
  • Look @ World project – the % of Internet users in Estonia should increase to over 90% (2001)
  • e-school
  • ID ticket in the public transport of Tallinn and Tartu

 

Telephone and mobile communication

The Estonian telecommunications industry is led by Eesti Telekom, owned by TeliaSonera. In 2001 new service providers entered the market for fixed telephone services. Tele2 and Elisa began offering international and domestic calls. The number of main lines per 100 inhabitants has grew from 23.2 in 1993 to 37 in 2007.

The Estonian mobile communications market is dominated by four operators: EMT (1991, belongs to Eesti Telekom), Elisa (1994, belongs to Elisa Communications),  Tele2 (owner Tele2 AB) and Bravocom.

 

Mobile phone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, 2007

Source: International Telecommunication Union

 

Internet and data communications

Significant investments have been made into the telecommunications infrastructure. Fibre optic cables cover the whole country, direct undersea connections to Sweden and Finland and links to the neighbouring Russia and Latvia guarantee first-class international communications.

The share of Internet-users is already high in relation to the population of Estonia and in comparison to other EU countries. Estonia leads the way among the Baltic States in Internet usage and today some 70% of the population uses the Internet.

 

Internet users per 100 inhabitants, 2007

Source: International Telecommunication Union

 

Internet banking services have experienced a rapid growth. By May 2008 there were 1,54 million Internet bank client accounts in Estonia (population 1,34 million inhabitants). Internet banking has become a common channel through which a citizen performs cash transfers, pays taxes, pays for services, communicates with the tax board, etc.

A wide range of Internet services such as dial-up, ISDN, ADSL, WiFi, Wi-Max, HSDPA are offered on the market.

Source: Estonian Investment and Trade Agency www.investinestonia.com

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