Why Ivan Can't Place A Call

Russia would seem to be fertile soil for suppliers of phone equipment and services. The nation's antiquated phone network is simply incapable of coordinating the efficient movement of money, goods, and people--vital first steps in rebuilding the shattered Russian economy. The country has only 12 phone lines per 100 people, compared with 43 per 100 in Western Europe. Ordinary Russians are on a 32-year waiting list for new phone lines. Some 360,000 villages are without any phone service at all. And the sole international phone switch in Russia's public network can handle only 124 simultaneous calls between Russia and the U.S.

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