North Korea passes 1 million user milestone

According to reports, North Korea’s mobile subscriber figures have doubled in the past year, surpassing 1 million users. The country’s sole network, Koryolink, had 430,000 recorded subscribers at the end of December 2010.

The 3G network was launched in 2008 as a joint venture between Egyptian operator Orascom and the North Korean government. Orascom holds 75% of the stock. Stretching across 14 major cities and 86 additional municipalities, it is believed to cover around 94% of the reclusive country’s 24 million inhabitants.

Although the number of subscribers has risen sharply, mobile usage is thought to be strictly controlled, with users under heavy surveillance. International calls and internet access are illegal for the vast majority of mobile users.

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