ONLY 38% OF RUSSIANS USE MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS

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MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - Only 38% of Russians use mobile communications, Russian Minister of Information Technologies and Communication Leonid Reiman said at the conference "Investments in Russia's future: new markets and possibilities" organized by the Interfax Agency and Chatham House.

In his opinion, mobile communications in Russia are developing quite irregularly.

According to the minister's data, 85 out of 100 Muscovites and 75 out of 100 St. Petersburg's residents have cell phones, while in some regions they are not used at all.

"Some regions lack not only mobile but regular communications, although in 2003 Russia boasted the most rapid development of the telecommunications market in the world," he noted.

Leonid Reiman believes that the key task of his ministry is to provide all Russian regions with telephone communications and Internet access. In his words, about 10,000 post offices will have Internet access by the end of 2004.

They will be located in the regions where people have Internet access problems, the minister added.

The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications will develop mail infrastructure. "Post offices are a social factor and a basis for mass development of communications," Mr. Reiman said.

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