Telecommunications in East Timor

Telecommunications in East Timor
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Flag of East Timor.svg
Exquisite-Modem.png Landlines (2006): 3,000[1]
Phone-motorola-v3i.svg Mobile lines (2007): 103,000[1]
ccTLD: .tl
Calling code: +670



Country code

Following Indonesia's withdrawal from East Timor in 1999, the telecommunications infrastructure was destroyed in the ensuing violence, and Telkom Indonesia ceased to provide services. A new country code (670) was allocated to East Timor by the International Telecommunication Union, but international access often remained severely limited.

A complicating factor has been the fact that 670 was previously used by the Northern Marianas, with many carriers not aware that the code is now used by East Timor. (The Northern Marianas, as part of the North American Numbering Plan, now use the country code 1 and the area code 670.)


Telephone calls are also often extremely expensive: for example, Telstra in Australia raised the cost of calls to East Timor to A$3.00 a minute from 97 cents in 2003. In the UK, BT's standard rate is nearly £2 a minute [1].


Timor Telecom advertisment

Telstra expanded its cellular telephone signal into East Timor in 2000, and operated services until 2003, when Timor Telecom, 50.1% part-owned by Portugal Telecom, began operating fixed line and mobile telephone services. Until recently, the fixed line network was mainly confined to the capital Dili, although this has been expanded nationwide, to each district capital.


According to a press-release issued by Portugal Telecom, the total number of fixed phones (landline) are 3,000 and mobile cellular are 103,000 (as of June 2008). There is no broadband or ADSL service.


Portugal Telecom signed a 15-year contract in 2002 to invest US$ 29 million to rebuild and operate the phone system. The contract could be extended by 10 more years, totaling 25 years of monopoly. 2003 gross revenue totaled € 10.5 million.

Satellite link

All voice and data are carried out by Intelsat, using a direct satellite link with one hop to their downlink in Portugal.

Domestic System

As explained above, the domestic telephone system suffered significant damage during the violence associated with East Timorese independence. As a result, there is extremely limited fixed-line services, and mobile-cellular services and coverage are limited primarily to urban areas.[2]

Mobile Coverage

With this said, Timor Telecom offers mobile GSM services covering 69.5% of the population, 100% of the districts, and 57% of the sub-districts (map of mobile coverage).[3]

International System

International service is available in major urban centers, but not much elsewhere.[2]


There are at least 21 radio stations in East Timor.[2] The main station is Radio Timor Leste, broadcasting in Tetum, Portuguese and Indonesian. Other radio stations include Radio Kmanek, and Radio Falintil, and Radio Renascença, while there are also FM retransmissions of RDP Internacional from Portugal, Radio Australia, and the BBC World Service. Community radio stations broadcast around the country, in regional languages such as Tokodede and Fataluku.


East Timor has one national public broadcaster,[2] Televisão Timor Leste or Televizaun Timor Lorosae, which broadcasts local programming in Tetum and Portuguese, as well as retransmissions of RTP Internacional from Portugal.

In May 2007, RTTL's television and radio services became available via satellite, using a transponder leased from Telkom Indonesia.[2][3].

In February 2009, TVTL began carrying programmes from Rede Globo in Brazil.[4]


The internet country code for East Timor is currently .tl. This code was officially changed from .tp (for Portuguese Timor) when the country achieved its independence on May 20, 2002.

East Timor has approximately 1,200 Internet users (2006) and 285 Internet hosts (2008). The vast majority of users use dial-up in lieu of broadband, as only 50 hosts offer any broadband service.[1]

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

There is only one ISP in East Timor, Timor Telecom. Two-way Satellite Internet is in theory available, as the country falls within the Australian and Asian footprints of several satellites offering this service, however in practice licences are not granted for use of non-East Timorese Telecom services. As such, internet services are restricted to locations with landline telephone or dedicated line infrastructure. WiMAX and GPRS internet access are not available.

Voice over IP (VoIP)

Timor Telecom has sought to block some Voice over IP services on its network such as Skype. As a result, some such services may not function.


  1. ^ a b c Portugal Telecom press-release from Aug 2008
  2. ^ a b c d CIA World Factbook, 2009: East Timor
  3. ^ Timor Telecom: Mobile Services:

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2009 edition".

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • East Timor — Democratic Republic of Timor Leste Repúblika Demokrátika Timór Leste[1] (Tetum) …   Wikipedia

  • Communications in East Timor — Following Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor in 1999, the telecommunications infrastructure was destroyed in the ensuing violence, and Telkom Indonesia ceased to provide services. A new country code (670) was allocated to East Timor by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Telephone numbers in East Timor — Country Code: 670Until September 1999, East Timor formed part of the Indonesian numbering plan, using the Country Code +62, followed by area codes for the two largest cities, Dili (390) and Baucau (399). Following the violence in the wake of… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in the People's Republic of China — Telecommunications in China redirects here. For the industry, see Telecommunications industry in China. This article is about Communications in the People s Republic of China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau (see Communications in Hong Kong and… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Australia — deals with telecommunications in Australia, involving the availability and use of electronic devices and services, such as the telephone, television, radio or computer, for the purpose of communication. Contents 1 Early 2 Deregulation and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Syria — is slowly moving towards liberalization, with a number of licenses awarded and services launched in the Internet service provision market. The initiative reflects the government’s change in attitude towards liberalization, following its promise… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Thailand — are based on an extensive network of telephone lines covering the country. TOT Public Company Limited and True Corporation operate the majority of the telephone network in the Bangkok metropolitan area while TOT Public Company Limited and TT T… …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Cambodia — Telecommunications Communications towers in Kampong Thom Telephone land lines 54,200 (2009) Mobile lines …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Uzbekistan — Telecommunications Republic of Uzbekistan …   Wikipedia

  • Telecommunications in Mauritius — Telecommunications had an early beginning in Mauritius, with the first telephone line installed in 1883, seven years after the invention of the telephone. Over the years, the network and telephony improved. By the late 20th century, the rapid… …   Wikipedia