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Electricity, Internet, Telephone in Kazakhstan.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard. Reliable electrical power cannot be guaranteed anywhere, although it is much improved from the 1990s, when the theft of a large amount of cable - which was sold on the black market - together with worn-out equipment led to frequent disruptions.
Plugs are two pin round, EU standard. Visitors from Britain and the US, especially, should bring adaptors along since even in Almaty they are hard to find. Kazakhstan's network is 220 Volt with a frequency of 50 Herz.
Wherever there is Internet, it is used enthusiastically and creatively, and the advantages of this fast and borderless form of communication are being increasingly recognized even in the countryside. All cities now have plenty of Internet cafes charging very reasonable fees, and Internet corners can also be found in department stores, hotels, public libraries (free of charge) and travel agencies. (See Useful Websites.) : ISPs include Parasang and Astel. There are Internet cafes in most towns and cities.
The telephone numbers in this book are all given without long-distance (trunk) or international dialling codes. Making calls can be a surprisingly confusing and frustrating experience if you do not understand the basic rules. Take, for example, the landline number 3171 234 567 - comprising 3171 (the town dialling code, in this case, Astana) and 234 567 (the subscriber number). Calls are made as follows:
- If you wish to call the number from within Astana, choose only the subscriber number without the dialling code - thus, 234 567.
- If you wish to call the number from another location in Kazakhstan or from a mobile telephone on the Kazakhstan network, you first dial 8 (yosmyorka in Russian), then the town
ialling code and then the subscriber number - thus, 8 3171 234 567.
- If you want to call from abroad, dial 7, then the town dialling code and then the subscriber number - thus, 7 3171 234 567.
Now take the mobile number 777 987 6543 as another example. Call options are:
- If you wish to call from a landline number or from any other mobile number (even from the same provider) in Kazakhstan, dial 8, then the whole number including 777.
- If you want to call from abroad, dial 7, then the whole number, including 777.
The two leading mobile companies are K-Cell and Beeline. Mobile phones are for sale everywhere, but stalls and even shops have a habit of disappearing, so buy at your own risk. Better is to bring your own mobile - local SIM cards can be installed in your own phone. K-Cell has (+8 or +7) 701 or 702 as a pre-dialling code, Beeline (+8 or +7) 705 or 777. There is also Dalacom with (+8 or +7) 700. A locally bought SIM card is much more cost- efficient than paying the high in-room phone rates charged by hotels. Orange, O2 and T-Mobile.
Country code: 7. Area code for Almaty: 3272. International calls can be made at a reduced rate from 2000 - 0800 local time. International calls should be made from a telephone office; these are usually attached to post offices.
Mobile telephone. Dual band 1800 and 900 networks in use. Coverage is good around the main cities. Network providers include K-MOBILE and Kazakhtelecom. There are roaming agreements with Vodafone,
Telegram. Facilities available from any post office.
Post. Full postal facilities are available at main post offices in the cities, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The main post office in Almaty is located on Ulitsa Kurmangazy. International postal communication is undertaken by the firms Blitz-Pochta, Press Limited and International Press within the republic takes 3 to 5 days. Post to Western Europe and the USA takes between 2 and 3 weeks. Mail addresses should be laid out in the following order: country, postcode, city, street, house number and lastly the person’s name. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0900 - 1800. Visitors can also use post offices located within major hotels.
The guidebook across Kazakhstan . Authors Dagmar Schreiber and Jeremy Tredinnick. Publishing house "Odyssey". 2010.