Thursday, November 11, 2010

Growth of Mobile Phone Service in North Korea

According to a report in Business Week, mobile phone subscriptions in North Korea have surged by 400 percent over the twelve month period ending in September of 2010, reaching a total of 301,199 subscribers.  Of course, this increase is due in part to the low level of subscribers a year earlier (reportedly just slightly over 69,000 as of September 2009).  Cairo-based Orascom Telecom said its advanced 3G telephone service network now covered 75 percent of the population.  It reaches a total of 12 main cities, 42 small cities, and 22 highways and railways.  Orascom plans to extend coverage to over 90 percent of the population by year's end.
Analysts had predicted that mobile service would be limited to North Korea's political elite and the capital city of Pyongyang.  However, Orascom reported a steady increase in voice and SMS usage over the past three quarters.  The company has 26 direct and indirect sales outlets in eight North Korean cities.

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