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2. Mongolia - Communication and Information

2.1 Are there any sources of information on Mongolia in the Internet?

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 These documents (not much more than a handful of files) were partially outdated, difficult to find and frequently available on various mirrored sites increasing the confusion.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 Mongolia Society 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 URL is: 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 environments.

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 .

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 with the request to be included in the mailing list.

2.2 Is there an Internet or e-mail link to Mongolia?

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 tremendous.

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 reached via: 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 communicate to (Communicated by Darima Socktoyeva, February 1996)

2.3 Is there an IDD (International Direct Dialing) telephone link to Mongolia?

Yes, there is the possibility to place IDD (International Direct Dialing) telephone calls to Mongolia. The country code is ++976.

What are the area codes within Mongolia?

Available area codes are:

Darxan 037
Dornod, Qoïbalsan 061
Arxangaï 073
Bayan-Ölgiï 071
Bayanxongor 069
Bulgan 067
Gow'-Altaï 065
Gow'-Sümber 075
Darxan-Uul 037
Dornogow' 063
Dundgow' 059
Zawxan 057
Orxon 035
Öwörxangaï 055
Ömnögow' 053
Süxbaatar 051
Sälängä 049
Töw 047
Uws 045
Xowd 043
Xöwsgöl 041
Xäntiï 039
Baganuur Düüräg 031
Nalaïx Düüräg 033

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.

2.4 How to reach Inner Mongolia?

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.

2.5 How to reach Buryatia and Kalmykia?

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.

2.6 Are there mobile (cellular) phone services available in Mongolia?

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.

2.7 Are there Mongolian radio broadcasts?

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:

Time (UTC)
Frequencies Direction
0300-0330 9960, 12000kHz Asia
0910-0940 9960, 12000kHz Asia
1445-1515 7530, 9950kHz Asia
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 WeekdayTime UTC Frequencies, kHz
Mongolian East Asia Daily1020-1050 12085,9960,990
Siberia Daily1250-1320 9950,7350,990
English Australia Daily 0910-094012000,9960
South Asia Daily1445-1515 9950,7530
Europe Daily1930-2000 7530,4080
North America Daily0300-0330 12000,9960
Russian Far East12.45.70945-1015 12085,9960
Siberia.23.5671410-1440 9950,7530
Europe1.32.671700-1730 7530,4080
Japanese East Asia Daily1120-1150 12085,9960
......71200-1230 12085
Chinese East Asia Daily 1050-112012085,9960,990
Asia Daily1330-14009950,7530,990

Address: Radio Ulaanbaatar, CPO Box 365, Ulaanbaatar 13, Mongolia

The reception is usually fairly weak (as reported repeatedly and backed up by own experience).

2.8 What about Electricity Supply?

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.

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