With regards to the communication super-highway, it feels like North Cyprus has jumped miles ahead in a very short space of time!
Just a few years ago we were all using dial-up connections, waiting an age for our computers to connect us to the rest of the world, and just generally feeling frustrated at the time it took to do anything remotely web based.
However, things have really taken off here, and North Cyprus is now firmly ahead of other countries in terms of the multitude of internet connectivity options available to us. Whatever your requirements, from home use to business on the move to office networking, there is a solution available, and for those of us who use Skype on a regular basis, the faster options are perfect!
Below are the options available as we write, although don’t be surprised if something bigger and better comes along in the next year or so!
Dial-up’s great if you do nothing more than send and receive the odd email or two with friends and family. You can get speeds of around 41kbps, but this is entirely dependent on how many people are using the service at any one time, and dial-up is not great if you want to download or upload files as it can be time consuming. Packages are available from lots of providers in the major towns, and they can normally offer you a 6 month or yearly subscription.
This is a pretty new service in North Cyprus, having been offered since 2006, and it uses telephone lines (copper ones!), but it is much faster than conventional dial-up, plus you can use your telephone at the same time as surfing the net! Various packages and speeds are available to you, so look around, and be aware of any extra charges, as you may have a monthly usage charge as well as a charge to the TRNC’s telecoms office too.
This option has again only really been around in the last few years, and has opened up the communications base in North Cyprus, especially for companies who need a networking solution. For personal use it’s great if you prefer not to have the restriction of being in one place in your home when you work. All the kit that’s usually required is either a small dish or box on your roof with one central cable that’s plugged into a router and you’re away! Speeds from 128kbps up to 2048kbps are achievable, and there are loads of Internet Service Providers offering this service now. The only problem here is which provider to choose! There are some very reputable companies around, such as Arı Net : www.canon-cyprus.com, The Internet Club – www.the-internet-club.net, Sunny Cyprus – www.sunnycyprus.net and Extend – www.extendbroadband.com. All offer a myriad of packages, including shared lines, dedicated lines and various speed options. We could go on! These are just a few providers and it’s a very competitive market, so take recommendations and shop around to see who might be offering some freebies to entice you!
This is a term given to a service provided by some of the ISPs, which entitles anyone to connect to a ‘Wi-Fi Hot Spot’ found in any given area. These are great options for cafes, bars and hotels to have available for customers as a free service, to encourage you to pop in and have cake and tea whilst surfing the web! The only trouble is you most certainly need a laptop, internet friendly phone or palm pilot to make use of the service! You can also pick up this service in lots of other places such as larger apartment building complexes like Patara City in Kyrenia, and its useful if you don’t have a phone line and don’t want to fork out for a broadband package of your own. But, you to have to pay a fee, and prices can vary but around 3ytl (approx. £1.20) per hour is fairly normal, and you pay direct via your device. However, the service is only offered by a few providers at present, but if you can find a Hot Spot it could prove a great option for users who only need access for an hour or two at a time.
We have saved the best for last! 3G is now being offered by both the mobile operators Turkcell and Telsim as of late 2008, and it’s a super fast option in either 4GB or limitless speeds! The kit you need is just a usb connection that holds its own sim card that you plug into your computer and that is it. No messy cables or routers, BUT the only downside, it’s not wireless and therefore can only work directly with one device at a time. With prices starting at 60ytl (approx. £24) per month, and available either on a pay as you go, monthly or yearly basis, this has got to be a very viable option for many. Maybe it’s too early to tell whether this is the new phenomenon on the market, as there have been some teething troubles with some areas experiencing connection outages, but so far reports are generally good!