OTE is the national telecom provider of Greece.
Standing for Hellenic Telecommunication Organization (Οργανισμός Τηλεπικοινωνιών Ελλάδος), OTE is the government-owned telecommunications carrier of Greece. Up to 1998, the telecommunications market in Greece was a monopoly. The market was opened to competitors and OTE was partially privatized (10% of the stock is owned by the French telecommunications giant France Télécom). OTE still remains a virtual monopoly, because of its previous role as the primary provider of telecommunication services in Greece. The Greek government, still holding 50% of the company's stock, heavily backs up the company and its price policies.
The company covers the whole country with digital PSTN and ISDN telephone lines and also offers ADSL in all urban areas. OTE is a group of companies owning an ISP (Otenet), a mobile phone company (Cosmote) and many other companies including OTE International Investments which in its turn owns lots of telcos in Armenia and in the Southeastern Europe (Bulgaria, FYROM, Romania, Serbia, etc.). OTE also runs a TETRA network.
Criticism on price policy
Greece, as of July, 2005, holds the record as the country with the most expensive fees in Europe on both its aDSL and POTS services.
It also serves telephone books and is divided into nine different areas:
- Athens-Piraeus-Eleusis (three books)
- Achaea, Ilia, Kefallonia and Zante (vol. 8)?, until 2000 excl. Ilia
- Central Greece (excl. Athens-Piraeus-Eleusis)
- Peloponnese (excl. Achaea and Ilia) (vol. 9), until 1999 or 2000, incl. Ilia
Area codes can be seen at List of dialing codes in Greece