Communications in Greece


Politics and government of Greece


OTE, the former state monopoly, is the main player in fixed-line telephony. Since the liberalization of the telecommunications market, OTE has been slowly losing market share to "alternative", competing telecom operators, such as Vivodi, Q-Telecom, Tellas and Forthnet. As of 2005, OTE's share on the market hovered around 76%.

Telephones - main lines in use: 6,348,800 (2004).

Telephone system:

modern networks reach all areas; microwave radio relay carries most traffic; 20.000 kilometers of fiber optics and extensive open-wire network; submarine cables to off-shore islands

domestic: 100% digital; microwave radio relay, open wire, and submarine cable

international: 100% digital; tropospheric scatter; 8 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)

Mobile Telecommunications

Greece has four mobile telecom companies; Cosmote, Vodafone, TIM and Q-Telecom.

Number of active lines: 12,500,000 (Dec 2005), which means 117% market penetration

Satellite Telecommunications

Greece owns one Telecommunications Satellite, named Hellasat, witch provides telecommunication services in a major part of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.


Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 23 (1999). Internet penetration: 33.9% (2005). Country code (Top-level domain): .gr

ADSL in Greece appeared commercially in the summer of 2003. The incumbent telecom operator, OTE, has been accused of deliberately stalling ADSL deployment for three years, in order to continue charging users with high per-minute dial-up charges as long as possible (flat-rate dial-up connections do not exist in Greece). OTE has also been criticized for artificially limiting the number of packets passing per second through a given ADSL connection, with the purpose of rendering Voip services over its broadband network unusable and unreliable.

Typical download/upload speeds available over OTE's network (in Kbps) are 384/128, 512/128 and 1024/256. Speeds up to 12/1 Mbps are provided by Vivodi Telecom, as the company has launched commercially ADSL2+ services in some regions.

ADSL Line Providers in Greece:

OTE, the incumbent telecom operator and former state monopoly.

Vivodi Telecom, a private company utilizing local loop unbundling (LLU), covering few parts of Greece at the moment.

Other ISPs, such as Tellas and Hellas On Line, are testing LLU lines in some districts of Athens.

Main ADSL Internet Providers:

  • Forthnet
  • Otenet
  • Vivodi Telecom
  • Hellas On Line
  • Tellas
  • Altec Telecoms

There are also some smaller ISPs providing ADSL.

All you need to know about ADSL in Greece

Mass Media

Radio broadcast stations: The state radio and television broadcasting agency is ERT (Elliniki Radiofonia kai Tileorasi - Greek Radio & Television). The station owns 3 national television stations, ET-1, NET (Nea Elliniki Tileorasi) and ET-3 which is based out of Thessaloniki. In January 2006, ERT launched Digital Terrestrial Television with 3 channels. By March 2006, at least 65% of the Greek population will be able to view Digital TV for free with the use of set-top boxes. ERT also operates 7 national radio stations, including ERA 5, the Voice of Greece, which broadcasts internationally via shortwave. ERT is based in Athens.

The first non-pirate private radio station to broadcast in Greece was Athena 9,84 FM, in 1987. Private television began in November, 1989 when Mega Channel began operating. Today, over 1,000 radio stations and approximately 150 television stations broadcast in Greece. Digital satellite broadcasting began in 1999 by a company called Nova.

Radios: 5.02 million (1997) Television broadcast stations:64 (plus about 1,000 low-power repeaters); also two stations in the US Armed Forces Network (1999) Televisions: 2.54 million (1997)


ELTA is the state-owned postal service provider of Greece.

See also : Greece OTE

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