Communication | Telephone Telex Telegram
Telephone, Telefax, Telegram
Telegrams are easy and cheap way of reaching the outside world. International telegrams can be sent from all post offices and the larger hotels. You can find them at all Post Offices. They usually arrive within 24 hours. English or French messages are no problem as long as they are printed clearly. Sample rates (slow /express service AMD per word) are: Within Armenia 20 AMD/60 AMD; Europe 110 / 220 AMD; Asia 130 / 260 AMD; Africa 142 / 284 AMD; The Americas 142 / 284 AMD; Australia and Oceana 154 / 308 AMD. In-coming telegrams to your hotel or residence works as well.
Telex is available at the Central post office in Yerevan, Echmiadzin, Giumri, Stepanavan, Alaverdi, Vanadzor, Ijevan, Sevan, Yeghegnadzor, Sissian, Kapan and Meghri. Prices vary, but comparable to Telegrams.
Fax service is available at any hotel, business center, Internet Cafe or Office, telephone center, largest post offices. InfoCom regional offices (see same towns), and at the larger travel agencies. Fax’s are charged by the page. A fax and phone service is available at the Ministry of Communications building on 22 Sarian Street, Ground floor, upper level (53-67-22). They charge 1500 AMD per minute for phone calls to the USA, and for faxes they charge 1500 AMD per page to the USA and Europe, 1800 AMD per page to Africa and Asia. To Russia it is 1,100 AMD per page. Levon Travel charges $7 per page to fax the USA.
Telephone Code to Armenia is (374). For Yerevan add a (1). All Country Codes.
|Call Card Local Access codes (Yerevan) |
|AT&T: 0 800 111
Unless you use a calling card or callback service, you are at the mercy of the local phone system, which the American embassy has diplomatically called "old and unreliable." A direct international connection (called "AT&T" by locals) provides a reliable if expensive option for calls out, but incoming calls are iffy in the regions.
Armentel, Armenian Phones
Mobile Phone: The GSM 900 network is in use. The main network operators include Armentel. Coverage is limited to Yerevan and the west of the country.
Rent a Mobile Phone: Armentel. Sarian Str., bldg. 22. (+ 374 1) 549454 / 549631 - has several plans for Mobile phone service, most for long term use. Most Travel Agents offer daily or short term service, easy to sign up for. See Agents. See also Rentaphone which rents SIM cards for $3.95-8.95 a day and phones with SIM cards between $4.95-14.95 per day. Local calls 0.18 per minute.
Land Phones: A new digital ring has been installed in Yerevan, with digital cable laid the summer of 1997 between the Iranian and Georgian border. New service began in 1998, it is still expanding in Yerevan and regional towns. Most phones outside Yerevan are still on the old system, which was great when it was built, but sadly deficient now. Armentel, a Greek monopoly, is in the throes of immense controversy for trying to charge per-minute charges to local customers. While normal for Europe (not for USA), Armenia has a per capita income of $35 per month and estimated charges of up to $12 per month are suggested. The government has refused to permit this, Armentel has threatened to turn off the country's phone access. As of December 2001, it is a stand off. Stay tuned.
Local calls are free from your most phones (check hotels!), or at pay phones for 50 AMD for 5 minutes in Yerevan and 100 AMD per 30 seconds to the CIS. You need zhetons or a phone card to use the public phones, available at post offices and metro stations.
Hotels: From Yerevan and other major hotels you can book a call overseas through the hotel operator, and wait for them to connect with an international operator . They can connect within an hour or so. Sometimes they ask you to wait as long as a day, but that is rare. You pay in drams afterwards, up to 1200 AMD per minute.
Post Office Phones: This is the most popular method to place calls in the regions, and the most reliable. Bigger post offices have international telephones. You place your order at the counter, and when the connection is made, go to a designated booth. The cost for international calls is 1000+ AMD per minute. Local calls are very cheap.
Phone Cards in Armenia: You can buy them at major Hotels, Post Offices and Armentel. They work in the new public phones and major hotel rooms. Cost vary but they are cheaper then using Armentel International direct calls. Local rates are 1.5-5 cents per minute.
Regions: InfoCom has international telephone services at the central post offices in most towns, and at both Yerevan airports. Those calls are $3-4/minute, regardless of time used.
Ways to Save:
Phone Cards in Armenia: Check at post offices, hotels and stores for Discount cards, the charges can be as low as $0.30/ minute to USA, lower in some cases. The cards are easy to use, dial an access number, enter code and dial your number.
PC-PC and PC-Telephone: These are new to Armenia and by no doubt the cheapest way to stay in touch. You can use the services from any internet connect, including internet cafes (be sure you have your own account first, and that they will let you use a headset--some cafes make money off of reseller services, and may restrict free access).
The savings are enormous. While Armentel charges up to $3+/minute for direct land line international calls to USA, and hotels can add a surcharge for $5+/minute, PC-PC calls are free. PC-Telephone calls are as low as 4.5 cents a minute to the USA from Armenia at Netcall and 13 cents on PC-Tel calls from USA to Armenia. See details at NetCall: http://www.netcall.am/index_htm Also see Net2Phone, PhoneFree, MediaRing and others for free PC-PC calls.
NetCall has an office in Yerevan:
1 Charents Street. 2nd F,
Yerevan, Armenia 375025
Tel: (374-1) 559-980
Fax: (374-1) 559-544
Callback: If you have call-back or one of the net-2-phone connection, check their rates for Armenia. Several we know of are 30% cheaper than using the systems here. Also, if you have a calling card, you can use their listed number for Armenia to connect with a USA or foreign operator. Sprint, MCI and AT&T are three American phone companies with connecting numbers in Armenia. France Telecom is a European telephone company. They may have off-rates below Armentel’s.
Internet Cafes: Also check at the Internet Cafes for internet telephony. Internet Cafes include Cafe Internet, Tekeyan Center, 50 Kanjian St; Hotels, and Internet providers (see below).
Avoid Dialpad, which is unable to provide reliable service with Armenia. The service takes your money, then the system refuses to download the necessary applet to run the service from Armenia. They do not give refunds, and do not allow any direct contact with customer support.
Instant Messengers: The easiest and freest way to talk by PC's, every cafe and house with internet will have it, and will be glad to show you how to use their favorite: MSN Messenger, ICQ (download Rave2 for better voice), Netscape Messenger and others. Both sides need to subscribe and agree on time, once done, you can send voice, mails and files using the services.
Check any search engine like Google for complete listings. These are for comparison only.
From Outside Armenia:
Perhaps the simplest way for someone to reach you is by long distance call to your hotel or place of stay (be sure they know the number ahead of time). Armenia's code is (374), Yerevan’s code is + (374 1). Armenia Telephone Codes.
A telegram can also be used to reach you. If you use a travel agent to arrive, they can be reached and contact you as long as you let them know where you are. If you register when you arrive, most foreign offices maintain an emergency operator who can call your embassy in Armenia (as long as you have one). They don't like to do this unless it is a real emergency, but they will. For USA citizens, call the US State Department (+1(202) 647-5225; 647-4000 in the evening). For others, see Embassies for direct numbers in Armenia. Your itinerary and a contact number (i.e. travel agent or hotel) will help track you down.
|Emergency Numbers in Armenia|
(work in any town)
|Fire - 1 01
Police - 1 02
|Ambulance - 1 03
||Gas Lines - 1 04|