North Korea possesses an underdeveloped yet growing market which has markedly improved in recent years as noted by growing mobile penetration. North Korea’s telecoms infrastructure developed largely through foreign investment.
The market penetration of fixed lines in service in North Korea has been gradually declining over the past 10 years, although the overall number of fixed lines in services has remained stable. Fixed broadband penetration remains relatively low in North Korea compared to other Asian nations.
The North Korean mobile market has seen strong growth over the past five years however from a very small base compared to other Asian countries.
CHEO Technology (Koryolink), reportedly halted operations and transferred its subscriber base to the nation’s only other MNO, GSM services provider Kang Song NET which is believed to be a wholly state-owned company.
Egypt’s Orascom Investment Holdings announced that it has been granted an exemption from the United Nations (UN) to continue to operate CHEO Technology (Koryolink), its JV mobile business with North Korea’s Post and Telecommunication Company.
Moderate to strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023, however mobile penetration in North Korea is predicted to remain well below that of other Asian nations due to government restrictions.
North Korea has taken steps towards developing a digital economy as part of efforts to modernize its economy as well as a means to generate export income, especially in the field of IT services. E-education initiatives have been launched to improve access to learning while e-commerce sites have launched.
North Korea’s mobile market is a major driver of telecoms infrastructure development. A 3G only network has been deployed providing almost universal population coverage. Fibre optic links connect major cities and network capacity has been upgraded using fibre optic technology platforms such as Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM).
North Korea Post and Telecommunications Corp (NKPTC); NEAT&T; SUN NET; Loxley Pacific; Lancelot Holdings; Orascom, Star JV.
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 42
Last updated 14 Nov 2018
Analyst: Phil Harpur
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