Users, Revenue Grow for Koryolink, North Korea’s Cellphone Service

Update to previous posting on whether there are cellphones in North Korea.

Orascom Telecom, the Egyptian company that runs Koryolink, North Korea’s only cellphone provider, reported yearly results for 2010 [.pdf from Orascom’s website] that showed nearly a quintupling of subscribers to 431,919 and a 156% increase in revenues to $66 million. Not bad numbers for a company operating in one of the world’s most restrictive countries.

The service now reportedly covers 91% of the population, 15 cities (up from 10 in previous reports), and 22 highways. There is also plenty of room to grow, with less than 2% of the country’s population currently subscribing to the network, though, in one of Asia’s poorest countries, service costs may eventually limit expansion.

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