The telecommunications market advanced by more than 16 percent to 130.4bn rubles ($4.18bn) in Russia last year, Russian Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reyman declared at an international congress devoted to security in the information community, which is held in St. Petersburg from April 21 to 22. According to the minister, more than 3m new fixed telephone lines were installed in Russia in 2002, which was a 43 percent advance, including 1.8m lines for individuals.
Last year some 23,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables were laid. The number of mobile subscribers surged by 2.2 times to 18m people. This jump was especially noticeable in regions where 8.5m new mobile subscribers were registered.
The number of computers increased by 18 percent. At present there are 9 computers for every 100 Russian citizens. The number of constant Internet users is about 6m people, which is 4.2 percent of the Russian population. Another 2m-2.5m people use the Internet from time to time. In the first six months of 2002 about 2m people used the Internet at post-offices within the framework of a special project aimed at installing PCs with the Internet access at post offices in Russia. Some 3,000 computers with Internet access have already been installed in post offices.
Reyman also declared that in 2002 some 16,000 integrated computer control systems were set up at Russian enterprises; more than 50 percent of these systems were developed by domestic specialists. On the whole, the software and consulting sector advanced by 20 percent, he said.