Your Best Travel Guide to Ukraine 10:56 | 17.01.2017 Choose your language УкраїнськаEnglishРусскийPolskaDeutschItalianoFrançaiseEspañol
Best of Ukraine
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Ukraine Travel Center
Communication

During your stay in another country it is very important to know about its communications system in order to stay in contact with your family and friends back home, as well as to stay in touch with people in the country, itself.

Ukraine's communications system is generally well-developed in the bigger cities and main tourist areas. It's not a problem nowadays to find Internet in Ukraine in the major cities, but still could be difficult in the smaller towns and villages. The country's telecommunications regulatory body is the National Commission on Communication Regulation of Ukraine. It is responsible for everything related to telecommunications in Ukraine.

Internet

C-Club Internet Cafe Troyeschyna in Kyiv
C-Club Internet Cafe Troyeschyna in Kyiv

Internet in Ukraine has been developing fast in urban areas, but it is still badly developed in rural areas. According to the company "Satellite Media", as of February 2010, more than 16 million Ukrainians (about a third of the population) had access to the Internet . The national average web penetration depth is 12% (to compare, in neighbouring Poland it is more than 50%), but in the regions of Ukraine this indicator is very heterogeneous. In Kyiv and Kyiv region, web penetration is 58%, but, for example, in Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, and Volyn regions the same figure is a little over 1%.

You'll be able to find Internet cafés throughout big cities. The cost to use it is quite low. Internet connection speed is much better now than it's been several years ago. In the major cities of Ukraine, like Kyiv, Dnipropetrovs'k, Odessa, etc. you'll be able to use Internet in some public places with Wi-Fi access: restaurants, cafes, airports, train stations, hotels. They will usually have a Wi-Fi sign on the window or somewhere else.

Ukrainian cellular phone operators provide wireless Internet access as well, GPRS and EDGE. The service is less than 1.00 USD per MB. It can be easily arranged with a cell phone of GSM 900, or GSM 1800 standard with built-in modem and a device for hooking up the cell phone to your laptop (cable, or infrared port). The connection is good enough for using while travelling. There is also 3G Internet available in Ukraine (GSM mobile providers MTC, Kyivstar, Beeline, Life). There is even 4G Internet offered by Freshtel in Kyiv.

Some hotels offer Internet connection in the rooms, delivered via Ethernet network. Just in case, keep a twisted-pair Ethernet cable with RJ-45 connectors with you if you plan to connect your laptop to the hotel network. But nowadays, it's becoming possible to connect via Wi-Fi in most places.

In the small towns and villages you might have a dial-up, or xDSL access to the Internet. But it depends on the local telephone line and of course on the Internet providers in the area. You'll have dial-up access if the local phone line is an old-fashioned analogue one. In this case, connection speed is a bit slow and depends much on the quality of the telephone line. In some cases, Internet access will be barely possible. The situation is better with the digital telephone lines and you might be lucky to get xDSL access to the Internet.

Another possible way to get Internet access is to use prepaid time Internet cards. These are a type of scratch cards, which indicate login, password, connection set-up details and phone numbers for dial-up access. Such Internet cards can be purchased at computer shops, press kiosks, card stands and news-stalls.

Telephone

During several recent years, Ukraine's telephone network has been undergoing some serious upgrade. New equipment has been installed at many local telephone stations. Telephone connections are pretty poor in rural areas and smaller towns, as they are still using old analogue equipment. Digital telephone lines are available in bigger cities and towns.

Telephone calls in Ukraine are paid at a per minute rate. Local in-city calls are pretty cheap. Locals pay a standard flat fee every month to the telephone company. There are so many free minutes included per month. Everything which is more should be paid additionally. In-country calls are more expensive. In general it is about 0.60 kopeks ($0.075) per minute. During the weekends and holidays it is a bit cheaper. International calls are the most expensive and it is better to use IP-telephony. IP-telephony cards can be bought at news stalls, pressa kiosks, cards stands, some computer shops and shopping malls. Some mobile providers offer pretty good international calling rates (for example, LIFE :) ). There are several cellular telephone operators in Ukraine, so it is possible for visitors to use their cell phones in Ukraine. International roaming is, however, quite expensive.
Hotels might charge 2 - 3 times more than what the telephone companies do.

Mobile

There are several companies serving cellular connection in Ukraine:

GSM: Kyivstar GSM, MTC (former UMC), Djuice, Jeans, Beeline, Life :)
CDMA: CDMA Ukraine, Intertelecom, PEOPLE Net, U'TEL (Ukrtelecom)

If your operator works in one of the mentioned above standards, most probably you will be able to use your cell phone in Ukraine as well. Please, find all details from your local cellular provider.

Be aware, that international roaming is quite expensive in Ukraine.

The most unexpensive way to stay available for calls in Ukraine with your cell phone supporting standards GSM 900 or GSM 1800 is to get a prepaid mobile package. The package contains a Sim-card - a chip to plug into the phone and a prepaid time voucher or card. You can simply add funds to your cell phone account by purchasing new vouchers/scratch cards. Read more

Post

Kyiv Central Post Office (Poshtamt)
Kyiv Central Post Office (Poshtamt)

Though an inexpensive form of communication in Ukraine, snail mail is rather slow. Delivery within Ukraine takes 3 to 7 days, mail to / from foreign countries reach addressee in about 2 weeks and longer. If you've sent a parcel or anything to Ukraine or inside of Ukraine via Ukrposhta and you need to trace where it is, please, use this link TRACE IT!

If you need your items to be delivered fast and guaranteed it would be better to use of a courier services, provided by such companies as DHL, Federal Express, Pony Express, TNT and United Parcel Service. When sending packages to Ukraine, many items will require clearance by customs which can cost a lot in fees.

When sending a parcel to Ukraine it is worthwhile considering that valuables, cassettes, floppies, compact disks, etc. are subject for Customs' clearance. Therefore, it is better to avoid sending the above mentioned things. Customs clearance may cause lots of bureaucratic troubles and monetary expenses as a result of Custom's taxes. Food, plants and animals are also prohibited for mailings to Ukraine, unless the recipient has special permission from state authorities.

Having been a part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had a unified mail system. All zip codes had 6 digits. In September 1999 this system was updated for 5-digit zips covering Ukraine.

Web-site of Ukrposhta (Ukrainian/Russian/English) or Poshta (only in Ukrainian)

Read more about Post Offices in Kyiv, Ukraine

Mass Media

Mass media is a vital method of dispensing information and news to people. It is also a great means of entertainment. There are several newspapers and magazines available in English: KyivPost, KyivWeekly, What's On, etc. Mostly, you could find them in Kyiv at the restaurants and pubs, as well as sometimes at news stands and press kiosks.

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