Cyprus Electronic Communications

Department of Electronic Communications - The Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Communications and Works is the Government's advisor on telecommunications policy matters including those related to harmonization with the Acquis Communautaire . It coordinates and manages the Government's activities on all telecommunications technical issues such as satellite communications, broadcasting networks of radio and TV stations.

More specifically:

  • It enforces the provisions of the Radio communications Law and its accompanying Regulations.
  • It enforces the provisions of the Broadcasting Law, related to the signal distribution network of radio and television broadcasting stations.
  • It manages the radio frequency spectrum and the satellite geostationary orbit in order to secure the interference free coexistence of all current radio communication services and the seamless integration of new radio communication services in the jurisdiction of the Republic. It also maintains the Cyprus Frequency Register.
  • It supervises the activities of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority in accordance with the Telecommunications Services Law, on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Works.
  • It provides consulting services on telecommunications matters to various Government Departments including the National Guard. It assists the Departments of Civil Aviation and Merchant Shipping in the planning, coordination and operation of their telecommunication services in accordance with the Recommendations and Regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), respectively.
  • It represents the Government in international and regional telecommunications organizations and is the responsible authority for managing and implementing the obligations of the Republic emanating from the Conventions or other legal instruments of such organizations on technical, regulatory, management and other related issues. These organizations include the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the European Conference of Postal Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) and its Committee (European Communications Committee (ECC)), the European Radio communications Office (ERO), the International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) and the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (EUTELSAT).
  • It represents the Republic in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and more specifically in the Negotiating Group on Basic Telecommunications (NGBT).
  • It maintains the Secretariat and coordinates the activities of the Cyprus Coordination Telecommunications Committee and the Cyprus Frequency Management Committee.  It coordinates and manages the telephone requirements and needs of the Government.
  • It contacts market surveillance in order to verify that the equipment being used and placed in the market satisfies the provisions and requirements of the Radio communications (Radio equipment) Regulations of 2003.

Cyprus Telecommunications Authority - Cyprus telecommunications infrastructure is one of the most developed in the region thanks to CYTA's (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority's) network, which is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced in Europe. In 2003, CYTA did not remain indifferent to developments brought about by liberalization of the market and technological advances. With the firm goal of establishing itself as a modern and flexible enterprise, it responded to the requirements of the European Union harmonization process. CYTA is the largest organization in the broader state sector in Cyprus to have obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification.

Services - CYTA offers a wide range of services, for both home and business use. Its portfolio of products was enriched with the introduction of the multimedia messaging service (mms) and the teleconferencing service in mobile telephony, the CYTANET MPLS IP-VPN service, which provides the ability to create Virtual Private Networks via MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) technology, as well as the miVision service, which uses the latest ADSL technology to offer simultaneous use of digital and interactive TV, video on demand, telephony and fast Internet access via a single telephone line.

In December 2003, there were 302,000 CYTAGSM postpaid service subscribers and 250,000 'so easy' prepaid service subscribers, i.e. 552,000 mobile telephony subscribers, representing a total penetration of 77%. In fixed telephony there were 424,000 main lines and 76,000 ISDN channels (total penetration 70%). At the same time, the quality and speed of the CYTANET Internet Access service was significantly upgraded. The number of subscribers stood at 57,000 (penetration 8%). 2003 was marked by further reductions in international and mobile call rates, which are among the lowest internationally. Significant discount schemes were also introduced based on the number of years a customer has been a subscriber to the ATM/Frame Relay service, as were free itemized bills to subscribers. Highlights of the year regarding customer service were the establishment of the island-wide network of Key Account Managers for major corporate customers, the first publication of a Visitors Yellow Pages directory and a Business-To-Business Yellow Pages one.

Strategic Aims - CYTA aims at maintaining and further improving the already high quality of its products, services and customer service, at competitive prices.

The Organization is trying to keep the operational cost low, although its rates are also very low compared to those of EU members and other countries. CYTA is also engaged in the development of value added services, such as tele-education, telemedicine, electronic commerce, content services etc.

At the same time, CYTA is aiming at expanding in the international market and mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. More specifically, its goal is to strengthen its role as a telecommunications hub in the South-Eastern Mediterranean and to offer international transit services.

CYTA has recently intensified its efforts for expanding its operations abroad, especially in countries with significant Cypriot communities, like Greece and the United Kingdom. Taking into consideration the liberalization of the telecommunications market in Cyprus as well as CYTAs significant investment in international cable systems, the strategy of entering new markets will provide additional sources of income for CYTA.

The result of this strategy was the decision to establish the subsidiary companies CytaHellas SA and CytaUK Ltd. In this way, CYTA has created a state-of-the-art cable network between Cyprus, Greece and the UK, the services of which are being promoted globally, under the commercial name CytaWorld.Net.

Civil Registry/Migration Department: The Civil Registry and Migration Department is a new Department which has been created by the decision to merge the Migration, Registration and Election Services of the Ministry of Interior.

The Civil Registry and Migration Department deals with the following:

  • Cyprus Passports
  • Civil Identity cards
  • Refugee Identity cards
  • Birth Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Election booklets
  • Electoral list
  • Acquisition of Cypriot Citizenship by aliens
  • Registration of persons of Cypriot origin and spouses as citizen of the Republic of Cyprus
  • Renunciation and deprivation of citizenship
  • Residence Permit for alien visitors
  • Entry and residence permits for alien workers
  • Immigration Permits
  • Entry and residence permits for alien students.

The creation of the Civil Registry and Migration Department led to decentralization, simplification of procedures and the prompt service of the citizens for birth certificates, Civil Identity cards, Refugee identity cards, Election booklets, passports etc.

The Civil Registry System has been computerized and citizens can obtain all the above documents easily through their District Administrative Offices. Due to the increasing number of aliens entry and residence applications, the Department has also computerized its procedures as regards aliens.

Source: Press And Information Office, Republic Of Cyprus, 2005