Telecommunications in Albania include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.


Until 1990, Albania was extremely isolated and controlled, and installation and maintenance of a modern system of international and domestic telecommunications was precluded.[1][2] Callers previously needed operator assistance even to make domestic long-distance calls.[1]

As of 1992, Albania's telephone density was the lowest in Europe, at 1.4 units for every 100 inhabitants.[1] Tirana accounted for about 13,000 of the country's 42,000 direct lines; Durrës, the main port city, ranked second with 2,000 lines; the rest were concentrated in Shkodër, Elbasan, Vlorë, Gjirokastër, and other towns.[1] At one time, each village had a telephone but during the land redistribution of the early 1990s peasants knocked out service to about 1,000 villages by removing telephone wire for fencing.[1] As of 1992, most of Albania's telephones were obsolete, low-quality East European models, some dating from the 1940s; workers at a Tirana factory assembled a small number of telephones from Italian parts.[1]

In the early 1990s, Albania had 240 microwave circuits carrying international calls to Italy and 180 to Greece.[1] The Albanian telephone company had also installed two U-20 Italtel digital exchanges.[1] The exchange in Tirana handled international, national, and local calls; the Durrës exchange handled only local calls.[1] Two United States firms handled direct-dial calls from the United States to Tirana.[1]

At present[when?] the land lines are overloaded, and it is difficult to receive a telephone number. As a result, the number of mobile phones has skyrocketed in the bigger cities.[3]

Radio and television

See also: List of radio stations in Albania and Television in Albania

The state broadcaster in Albania, Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSh, Albanian Radio and TV), operates national radio and television networks. It has competition from scores of privately owned stations.[5] According to a 2002 survey the broadcaster with the largest audience is TV Klan.[needs update]

Television is the most influential medium. Many Albanian's watch Italian and Greek stations via terrestrial reception.[5]

The BBC World Service (103.9 MHz in the capital, Tirana), Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, and the Voice of America are available.[5]


See also: Telephone numbers in Albania


Providers with national coverage:

Defunct providers:

Internet broadband services were initiated in 2005, but growth has been slow. Internet cafes are popular in Tirana and have started to spread outside the capital.[4]

Eutelsat satellite broadband is being used to provide free public Internet access in rural Albanian post offices, schools, and local government offices.[14][15]

Internet censorship and surveillance

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority. The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. However, there are reports that the government and businesses influence and pressure the media. The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: Sudetic, Charles (1994). "Telecommunications". In Zickel, Raymond E.; Iwaskiw, Walter R. (eds.). Albania: a country study (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. p. 155. ISBN 0-8444-0792-5. OCLC 29360048.
  2. ^ Howe, Marvin (10 December 1989). "A Glimpse into Albania". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Për mediat audiovizive në Republikën e Shqipërisë" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Communications: Albania", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 15 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Albania profile: Media", BBC News, 20 December 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  6. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Greg's Cable Map", Greg Mahlknecht, 19 December 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  9. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000–2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  10. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012" Archived 2019-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012" Archived 2019-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  12. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  13. ^ Population Archived 2018-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Eutelsat satellite broadband selected for free public internet access in Albania", Press release (PR/61/12), Tring Communications, 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Eutelsat Wins Significant Government Broadband Contract in Albania", Jeffrey Hill, Via Satellite integrating Satellite Today, 3 October 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Albania", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 18 April 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.