Yes and No.
First the No. Until about 1994, There used to be only a number of miscellaneous documents (mainly U.S. government publications) on Mongolia available on the Internet. These documents (not much more than a handful of files) were partially outdated, difficult to find and frequently available on various mirrored sites increasing the confusion.
Now the first Yes. In spring 1994, the USENET newsgroup soc.culture.mongolian came into existence. It enjoys a certain popularity, not only among Mongolia specialists but also among other interested persons. This newsgroup (which is not moderated) offers lively discussions on all sorts of topics ranging from food to religion, from history to modern politics. Many frequent contributors supply soc.culture.mongolian also with news about current events, exhibitions etc.
In order to read the news of soc.culture.mongolian, start any of the news readers available on your machine (this may be tin, rn, nn, or any other favourite). Following the instructions, it should not be too difficult to subscribe to soc.culture.mongolian since this is a mainstream USENET newsgroup which should be available at any Internet site featuring USENET services.
Now the second Yes. The
in Bloomington, Indiana established a
WWW home page in Summer 1995. The WWW homepage gives information
about the Mongolia Society and its activities. The Mongolia Society
The author of this site, Mitch Rice, is very active in
collecting, bundling and updating Mongolia-related
Internet documents, references to other WWW home pages on
Mongolia and Tuva, gopher servers and single documents on
Mongolia in the
Mongolia WWW Virtual Library, the URL being:
Now the third Yes. The Mongolian Internet provider
Magicnet, the URL being:
provides news about Mongolia and even as a daily
download of ``Today'' articles. ``Today'', or
Önöödör in Mongolian,
is the most important newspaper in Mongolia. For
reading the articles, a special font is provided
which can be loaded into Microsoft Windows
Now the fourth Yes. Recently, many more Web sites on Mongolia have emerged, some of them with a focus on travel, others with a focus on Southern (Inner) Mongolia, again others focussing on Chinggis Khan and his spiritual heritage. Instead of including all references here I wish to redirect all requests to the Mongolia WWW Virtual Library.
Now the fifth Yes.
In November 1993, the first gopher server offering
dedicated information on Mongolia started working. It was
located at Free University, Berlin, Germany, and could be
reached via (do not try that anymore, that is history now!):
gopher gopher.fu-berlin.de .
This gopher server used to offer the Infosystem Mongolei featuring a small but growing collection of articles, maps, legal documents and software related to Mongolia. From early 1995 on, this gopher server was supposed to migrate to a WWW site, but, alas! due to a handful of reasons this aim could not be achieved before spring 1996.
In its present phase, the Infosystem Mongolei - WWW site is to a certain yet small extent still a mirror of the former gopher site but soon the former gopher site will only be recognizable as its root, not as its substance any more.
New technologies are constantly advancing and create new opportunities for publishing documents which seemed to be ``unpublishable'' due to technical constraints. The new WWW site supports Chinese characters in its documents eliminating effectively the need for dedicated software on the users' side.
The Infosystem Mongolei - WWW URL is:
You can receive announcements about new articles,
updates etc. if you send a mail to
email@example.com with the request to be
included in the mailing list.
The first e-mail link in Mongolia
came into existence in January/February 1995 and was not
yet a continuous (i.e. 24 h/day) operation but it seemed
to work. It is still active and organized by a commercial
service provider, Datacom Co., Ltd. Mongolia. The address is:
and requests to this address will most certainly be
answered by Bataa, the system operator. There are various
types of service charges. First, one has to open an
account which is between USD 20.-- and USD 100.--
depending on whether one is a private or an institutional
user. Then there is a monthly charge (starting with USD
5.-- / month), and in addition there is a volume charge
for every kB of data which is 30 cents. Despite these
various charges, the operation via e-mail is by far the
cheapest because fax and DX telephone costs are
In 1999, many Internet providers have mushroomed at least in Ulaanbaatar, and there are now too many Internet Cafés as can be included here; they are easily locatable by their huge billboards like the ones near the National University and the Baga Toïrog, the Small Ring Street with Süxbaatar Square at its centre. Fares seem to be around T1600.-- per hour, which is rather modest. The occasional traveller to Ulaanbaatar can thus afford to stay in touch with home.
In addition, the Academy of Sciences which used to have
its own connection (UUCP) to the Internet via Dubna, Russia,
has switched to magicnet, too, in summer 1996, but
this is history, and recently the Academy can be
for the Computer Centre of the Academy. The other institutes
which used to have an address at Dubna are migrating too,
and their new addresses will be provided in due course.
Inner Mongolia University
can be accessed by the URL
Inner Mongolia Polytechnical University can be accessed
by the URL
By information of February 4, 1996, Buryatia can be
reached via e-mail. For first contact, you may
(Communicated by Darima Socktoyeva, February 1996)
Yes, there is the possibility to place IDD (International Direct Dialing) telephone calls to Mongolia. The country code is ++976.
Available area codes are:
At present the telephone system in Ulaanbaatar is under reconstruction which implies that certain numbers are changed. Ulaanbaatar used to have 5-digit telephone numbers until 1992. Those numbers which then began with a 2 are usually converted by placing a 3 in front of the leading digit. Other numbers were changed later. Some numbers still retain the 5-digit order.
Inner Mongolia can be reached via China. The country code is 86, the area code for Huhhot is (0)471 (skip the leading 0 when dialing from abroad). In 1995, there was a change in the telephone system of Huhhot, and a ``9'' must now be included after the first digit. So, a number like 454433 becomes now 4954433.
Buryatia can be reached via Russia. The country code is ++7 but there are two city codes for Ulan Ude: 3012 for 6-digit telephone numbers, 30122 for 5-digit telephone numbers.
Kalmykia is also reached via Russia, its area code is 847 and a district Code may appear between it and your local numbers.
Yes, a service provider named ``MobiCom'' provides cellular phone services (GSM standard) within Ulaanbaatar and a 35-km range around the Capital as well as Darxan and Ärdänät. You can take your Siemens, National Panasonic or other mobile phone to Ulaanbaatar and get a service contract (with chip card) there. The initial fee is hefty (around USD 200.-- or USD 300.--) and the airtime price per minute is around USD .50. Monthly fee used to be USD 50.-- but was reduced to approximately USD 30.-- with the arrival of a competitor, SkyTel (see below). MobiCom numbers begin with 99-11, followed by a four-digit subscriber's number. Dialling from abroad requires the sequence +976-99-11-subscriber. There is no further area code between the country code and the cell phone number.
Contact MobiCom Corporation, tel. 312222, or send a fax before going there (+976-1-314041) if you want to use their service.
Another mobile phone company which started business in 1999 is SkyTel. Their telephone numbers begin with 96-16. SkyTel rates seem to be more competitive than MobiCom's.
Both MobiCom and SkyTel have their offices in the immediate neighbourhood behind the Central Post Office west of Süxbaatar Square.
The question has two possible basic meanings. First of all, we can ask whether there are radio broadcasts in Mongolia. Then we can ask whether there are Mongolian language radio broadcasts abroad. Both questions can be answered positively.
Mongolia has a domestic radio service, both wireless and wire, as well as television. Besides the domestic radio service, there is also an international shortwave service.
The radio in Ulaanbaatar is mainly based on a wire-distributed system with loudspeakers in virtually every urban househould. In some areas there is only one channel available while other areas feature two channels which are propagated with long waves and detected with very simple sets: two channel buttons (with the more sophisticated sets; the simple ones do without), volume control, that's it. If one does not want to listen, one pulls the plug; otherwise it's Plug and Play.
These radio sets, called `boxes' (xaïrcag in Mongolian) are available in the department store but where ever you go you would inevitably run into the soft background of these ever-present voices, especially at offices, workplaces etc. The movie ``Argamshaa'' has a scene where an empty apartment is shown with just the radio being switched on.
Recently, at least one independent FM radio station took up operation.
Mongolian television is a complex story: the state-run television can mainly be received in Ulaanbaatar, but in recent years many satellite channels mushroomed. It is now possible to watch MTV. Besides these new stations, Mongolian television has also diversified: There is now Ulaanbaatar City Television which even broadcasts on Monday when the state-run television station habitually has its day off. More details on television schedules and broadcast history can be found in an article by John W. Williams, Mass Media in Post-Revolution Mongolia (in Infosystem Mongolei).
International broadcasts on short wave by Radio Ulaanbaatar can be heard daily in English and Mongolian. The frequencies given here are last winter's schedule but appearantly there are not many changes so these can be tried:
|1930-2000||4080, 7530kHz||Europe and Asia|
A more detailed list which is probably not up-to-date gives information on the languages used by Radio Ulaanbaatar, schedule effective from September 24, 1995 to March 26, 1996 (Do not feel shocked to see the year 1996 there. The frequencies do not seem to change over the years.)
|Target Area||Weekday||Time UTC||Frequencies, kHz|
Address: Radio Ulaanbaatar, CPO Box 365, Ulaanbaatar 13, Mongolia
The reception is usually fairly weak (as reported repeatedly and backed up by own experience).
All these electric things are mentioned here. Do they operate on batteries? No, of course not. The standard electrical voltage of Mongolia is 220V, 50 cycles/second, and is supplied via Russian-style electricity outlets. The connector pins are round, usually with a diameter of 4mm, so squeezing modern German 5mm plugs into Mongolian sockets will break the socket. Either retrofit your wiring with so-called European plugs (4mm, no earthing connector), or use adapters, or modify or replace the wall outlet.
Electricity is available in the cities of Mongolia as well as in aïmag centres and larger villages; in the countryside however, solar-driven batteries are extremely useful.
Prepare yourself for brown-outs (unstable electricity supply) and black-outs (complete electricity failure) at unregular intervals for everything between fractions of a second and several hours.