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Telecommunications were well established before the Bosnian war erupted in the early 1990s. The infrastructure included the telephone and telegraph network, as well as a network for transfer of data. The total capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina telephone exchange facilities was 744,000 telephone lines. The war caused huge material damages to telecommunications facilities. In addition, the administrative division of the country into two entities created a division in the telecommunications sector. Post-war reconstruction of the telecommunications network is aided by an internationally sponsored program under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Radio and television
- Radio stations: 3 large public radio broadcasters and many private radio stations (2010).
- Television stations: 3 public TV broadcasters: Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), Federation TV operating 2 networks, and Radio Televizija Republike Srpske; a local commercial network of 5 TV stations; 3 private, near-national TV stations; and dozens of small independent TV stations (2010).
The Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) is charged with regulating the country's radio and television media.
During the Bosnian war, most media became propaganda tools of the authorities, armies, and factions. Since then, efforts have been made - with limited success - to develop media which bridge ethnic boundaries.
TV is the chief news source. The most influential broadcasters are the public radio and TV stations operated by the Bosniak-Croat and Serb entities. The Office of the High Representative (OHR), the leading international civilian agency in Bosnia, oversaw the development of national public broadcasting. The OHR worked to create a non-nationalist, civic media.
The Telecommunications sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing liberalisation. Up to 2006, there were three licensed fixed telecommunication operators: BH Telecom, based in Sarajevo, covering 51% of the population of BiH and most of the territory of the Federation of BiH; Telekom Srpske, based in Banja Luka, covering 34% of the population of BiH, mainly in the territory of Republica Srpska; and HT Mostar, covering 16% of the population of BiH, mainly in the Federation of BiH. The three companies enjoyed a de facto monopoly over their operating areas, although they have nationwide licenses for domestic and international calls.:180 New players have entered the marked since the start of its liberalisation in 2007. The numbers of fixed telephony service subscribers were 849,027 in 2001 and 1,022,475 in 2007. Fixed telephony penetration rates increased from 22.35% (2001) to 26.41% (2007).:189–190
The mobile telephony sector is highly competitive, as the three main telephone operators compete nationwide with the brands BH Mobile, M-Tel and HT Eronet.:182 Mobile networks cover 99% of the population and have a 63.29% penetration rate, with 2,450,425 subscribers in 2007, doubling from 2004.:192 All three mobile operators operate on 4G+ network.
The TLC operators are still mainly state-owned and there is strong resistance to privatisation, with 90% of BH Telecom and 50.1% of HT Mostar owned by the Federation of BiH. In Republika Srpska, Telekom Srpska was privatised and is now mainly (65%) owned by Telekom Srbija:186
The telecommunications market is regulated by the Communications Regulatory Agency, which also regulates broadcasting and Internet sectors.
- Calling code: +387
- Total fixed lines: 852,442 lines (2012).
- Residential 715,675 fixed lines (2012).
- Business: 136,767 fixed lines (2012).
- Total mobile cellular: 3.4 million active subscriptions (2012).
- Mobile cellular penetration:
- Short Message Service: 1.9 billion SMS messages sent (2012).
- Multimedia Messaging Service: 4.3 million MMS messages sent (2012).
- Service providers:
- Top level domain: .ba
- Fixed Internet: 663,913 subscriptions (2017).
- 231 dial-up subscriptions (2017).
- 663,682 broadband subscriptions (2017).
- Internet hosts: 155,252 hosts, 77th in the world.
- Internet Service Providers: 71 ISPs (2017).
Internet censorship and surveillance
The Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the organization responsible for self-regulation of online and print media content. In 2012 the Press Council considered 176 complaints alleging inaccurate or libelous reporting by print and online media (103 for print and 73 for online media), accepting 35 as valid and rejecting 19 as unfounded.
The law provides for freedom of speech and press; however, the government does not always respect press freedom in practice. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina law prohibits hate speech. The Republika Srpska law does not specifically proscribe hate speech, although the law prohibits causing ethnic, racial, or religious hatred. Independent analysts note a continuing tendency of politicians and other leaders to label unwanted criticism as hate speech.
The law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.
- Media of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Radio-Television of the Republic of Srpska (RTRS), entity level radio and television broadcaster in Republika Srpska
- Radio-Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RTVFBiH), public radio and television broadcaster.
- Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT).
- This article incorporates material from websites or documents of the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Regulatorna agencija za komunikacije Bosne i Hercegovine) "2012 editions".
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2014 edition".
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.
- "Communications: Bosnia and Herzegovina", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Bosnia and Herzegovina", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Bosnia-Hercegovina profile - Media", BBC News, 18 December 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- AGCOM & CRA, 2008, Overview of the Communications Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Communications Regulatory Agency, 2009a, Public Register of Public Broadcasters
- Tarik Jusić, "Bosnia and Herzegovina", EJC Media Landscapes
- Telecommunications indicators for 2012. Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Blicnet pokreće uslugu mobilne telefonije!" [Blicnet launches mobile service!] (in Bosnian). Blicnet. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "NIC.ba Registracija domene" [NIC.ba Domain Registration] (in Bosnian). University Tele-Informatics Centre (UTIC). Retrieved 19 September 2013. English translation.
- Telekomunikacijski pokazatelji BiH u 2017. godini (PDF). Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Telecommunications in Bosnia and Herzegovina.|
- Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, web site.
- NIC.ba (in Bosnian), .ba domain registrar.