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North Korea - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 12 Mar 2019 Update History

Report Pages: 74

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

North Korea Sees Further Social Media Restrictions

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, most significantly by Thai investors and Egyptian telecoms investment company Orascom Telecom Holdings.

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 six years however from a very small base compared to other Asian countries.

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. North Korean e-commerce website Manmulsang now provides delivery services to all parts of the country.

There has been a recent been a sharp drop off in social media activity in North Korea. Facebook and Instagram are almost absent in terms of activity levels in North Korea and Chinese services are being increasingly favoured.

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, one of few countries in the world that is able to claim that its entire mobile market is comprised of 3G subscribers. Fibre optic links connect major cities and network capacity has been upgraded using fibre optic technology platforms such as Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM).

Key developments:

  • There has been a recent been a sharp drop off in social media activity in North Korea.
  • E-commerce and e-education initiatives have been launched.
  • Mobile broadband will see moderate growth to 2023.

Companies mentioned in this report:

North Korea Post and Telecommunications Corp (NKPTC); NEAT&T; SUN NET; Loxley Pacific; Lancelot Holdings; Orascom, Star JV.

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