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.
Compared to other Asian nations, North Korea has very low mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration. Political instability has disrupted the telecoms sector of markets such as North Korea and made it unfavourable for investment in network upgrades.
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.
Communications with the outside world is restricted as everyday citizens are only able to receive news through government controlled channels such as TV and radio broadcasting as well as the government controlled Intranet. Technological improvements are evident, most notably through the introduction of high definition TV (HDTV) digital broadcasting.
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. Moderate to strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2022, 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.
The countries mobile market is a major driver of telecoms infrastructure development. 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’s internet connection had reportedly been reinforced by Russian telecoms firm TransTeleCom (TTK).
North Korea has seen a strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past few years driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers. However the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well that below of other Asian countries due to limited mobile user penetration.
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 27 Apr 2018
Analyst: Phil Harpur
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