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Communicational ties between the Republic of Bashkortostan and other Russian regions based on voice cell phone data

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The article aims to present social ties of the Republic of Bashkortostan based on voice cell phone data, which covers 12 million calls from and to the region during the first five days of March 2020. About 96% of calls are made within the republic and only 4% of them are interregional. The people of the Republic of Bashkortostan have close connections with those who live in neighboring regions (Orenburg, Sverdlovsk oblast, the Republic of Tatarstan and especially Chelyabinsk oblast). Being a part of the Ural Economic Region, the Volga Federal District and Volga-Ural Macro Region, the republic has turned mostly towards Ural regions. We also found that the republic has close social ties with Moscow and Moscow region, St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, as well as Krasnodar kray, Samara oblast and two Autonomous Districts: Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets. We estimated the number of persons who possessed Bashkir SIM-card and were outside the republic during the research period – 183 thousand; the most of them were in the abovementioned regions. While conversation between residents lasts 50 seconds, which is among the smallest values, the calls to and from republics of Altai, Tyva, Khakassia, Sakha and Magadan oblast are 5-8 times longer. Overall, the communication pattern reflects migration flows and economic relations between regions. The results of this study can be utilized by researchers and Bashkir government to explore spatial interaction patterns between regions and may help to guide transportation planning and other potential applications, e.g. infrastructure construction projects. In conclusion, we postulate that cell phone data can be exploited as a source of social ties data, however, the strengthening communication shift into Internet space is diminishing information on the directional features of the ties.

About the Authors

Valeriy V. Yumaguzin
National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Russian Federation

Maria V. Vinnik
National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Russian Federation


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For citations:

Yumaguzin V.V., Vinnik M.V. Communicational ties between the Republic of Bashkortostan and other Russian regions based on voice cell phone data. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(4):133-139.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)