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Phones and internet of all sorts

All right - let's get the main points covered:

a) yes, there are mobile phones here (GSM/UMTS standard and some others) as well as normal phones (good old ground copper-wire lines).

b) yes, you can access internet here (the way of doing it depends on location and cash you're willing to spend for it). And for those of you who's been hyped about Skype, yes, if the connection is decent Skype works pretty much nicely.

c) yes, there are hotspots for your Wi-Fi enabled notebook or PDA (many are not free yet, but the trend is really favorable and many places start doing hotspots for free).

We'd also like to note - that English knowledge rate here is somewhere like 10%, somewhere better for youngsters and totally worse for older people. Which means talking over phone or even chatting and emailing to locals can be tricky.

Now, let's get down to the details.


Normal phones


Something like half of apartments and absolute majority of offices have the normal phones. Russia's code is +7 or 007 for dialing from abroad. Novosibirsk's code is 383. Novosibirsk's phonenumbers are 7 digits now. Recently they were 6 digits, and the city code was 3832. So, if you have some old record of telephone number, it will most likely look like xx-xx-xx. The way of deciphering it into new xxx-xx-xx format is this if the first digit was 1 or 2 - add 2 as new first digit. If the first digit was 3 and higher - add 3 as new first digit. Example - old number of 11-11-11 is now 211-11-11. Old number 44-44-44 is now 344-44-44. Hope you got it. So, to dial from abroad you should dial +7 383 xxx-xx-xx.


Dialing your home country on fixed line is different - normally you have to dial 8 (wait for tone) - 10 and THEN your country code+area or network code+phonenumber. So, calling for example UK would be - 8 10 44 xxxx xx-xx-xx. Doing same from the mobile phone is plain easy - 'plus'+your country code+area or network code+phonenumber. Dialing UK would be +44 xxxx xx-xx-xx.


Mobile phones


There are 4 GSM-900/1800 operators here, one of CDMA-450. Most obvious choice is GSM - these are national carriers (Beeline, MTS, Megafon, Tele2), with roaming available in most regions of Russia (restrictions and rules apply).

Two of the operators, Beeline and MTS, launched recently their 3G subnetworks (UMTS standards), which greatly helped the internet speed when accessing via mobile network.

You can either use your GSM phone here in roaming (if on short visit) or obtain local SIM-card and use it while in Novosibirsk which is way cheaper. There is no point to write here on 'where you can get a SIM-card' cause the answer is 'basically everywhere'. The market is growing vastly, and it is huge industry, so nearly on every corner you can get a contract with any of the operators or buy the paycards (sorry, forgot to mention, most of them operate on pay-as-you-go basis, contracts are mostly for companies).




Depends on where you are.

There is also growing industry of ADSL and leased line market, so the chances are your apartment might be within the range one or another network is covered with ADSL or leased line availability. The same you can do at the office, though most office buildings offer leased line connection to the internet, check around or ask in neighbouring offices.

You can also use GPRS/EDGE/3G (GSM subsystem), to access internet from your PC using your GSM phone as modem (the phone should be GPRS/EDGE- or 3G-enabled) or buying specifically 3G-modem for that. Speed is a little slower than dial-up on GPRS/EDGE, but compensates by mobility - can surf from office, home, cafe etc. And if you connect to 3G network - it works wonders, and the speed is great.

There is a CDMA analog to GPRS/EDGE - and it works faster, comparable to 3G. The operator is called SkyLink.

And talking about cafes and internet - the hot spot outbreak is only in the beginning phase here. So there are some places where internet is available via Wi-Fi, BUT in most cases it would be on fee basis. The following places offer free Wi-Fi:

Bars/Restaurants/Fastfoods - IL-Patio, People's, Grill-Master, Classica, Galereya Coffe, Tinkoff, Vostok-Zapad, Mangusta, Kara-Kum, Depo, Sushi-Terra, NYP, Traveller's Coffee, Zhili-Byli, Terek, Champivon, Western, Beloye Solntse Pustyni.

Other places - Veselaya Keglya (bowling), Public Library GPNTB, Planeta Kino, Pioneer, Aurora (cinemas), Main Railway Station, Lesnaya Skazka, Ob (hotels).

May be there others, may be for free or for less, but we're not aware of them.



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Top news
Yes! McDonald's finally opened in Novoibirsk, or to be specific in the food court of the Aura shopping mall. Ok, that's crappy food all right, but we truly welcome them mostly because of the 'famed' influence of McD on the investment attraction to the region - this is sorta common factor - if McD is fine to do business here, then it should be fine for most of Western Business.
Just in case you use Facebook - there is a great page there - Natasha from Russia. You will love it in the instant!
One of the Nsk curses is that it is fairly away from Gorny Altay which is perfect tourist's place. A lot of nature, forests, mountains and mountain rivers. Getting there by car is 7-8 hours driving. Now it is also available by air. The small aircrafts with capacity of 19 passengers are flying to Gorno-altaysk, the capital of Gorny Altay, twice a week, making the trip like 1 hour endeavour.


You came to Novosibirsk and realised that not so many people speak English here, and even those pretending that they do are not that good.
Or you might suddenly realise that your translator you hired is just some school-teacher of stone age and very literature-like vocabulary who can't even translate word 'bollocks' which is flying at the meetings all too often.
This is where our Translation service comes handy. We charge you with 3 cents per word of written translation, which makes normal A4, with Times font and 12 font size costing about 12-15 dollars to translate, depends on density of text and empty spaces. We can also help you with interpreting (sequential, not simultaneous) and this would be 25 dollars per hour.
Email us - info@e-novosibirsk.com for info, inquiries and arrangements.