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

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

North Korea's Telecoms Market continues to struggle

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.

Key developments:

North Korea's internet connection had reportedly been reinforced by Russian telecoms firm TransTeleCom (TTK).

The percentage of fixed lines in service in North Korea has been steadily declining over the past 10 years.

The North Korean mobile market has seen strong growth over the past five years however from a very small base compared to other countries.

E-commerce and e-education initiatives have been launched.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
4.2 Regional Market Comparison
4.3 Historical overview
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Overview
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Lancelot Holdings
6.2 Loxley Pacific (Loxpac)
6.3 Shin Satellite Corp
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National telecom network
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Satellite
8. Fixed-line broadband and internet market
8.1 Background
8.2 Market Developments
8.3 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
8.4 Revival of the .kp domain
9. Mobile market
9.1 Market Overview and Analysis
9.1.1 Mobile phone costs
9.2 Mobile statistics and Market Forecast
9.3 Mobile Broadband statistics and Market Forecast
10. Mobile infrastructure
10.1 3G
11. Major mobile operators
11.1 Sunnet
11.2 Koryolink
11.3 Byol
12. Mobile content and applications
13. Mobile handsets
13.1 North Korea's answer to the tablet
14. Digital economy
14.1 Korea Computing Centre (KCC)
14.2 Personal computer production
14.3 E-education
14.4 E-commerce and E-payments
15. Digital Media
15.1 Broadcasting market
15.1.1 Overview
15.1.2 TV stations
15.1.3 Satellite TV
15.2 Videostreaming
15.3 Social media
15.3.1 Twitter
15.3.2 Facebook
15.3.3 YouTube
15.4 Communications: VoIP, messaging, conferencing
15.4.1 North Korea on Google Maps
16. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics North Korea 2017
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2017 (e)
Table 3 Mobile statistics 2017 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2017 (e)
Table 5 National telecommunications authority
Table 6 Historic - North Korea GDP growth rates 1990; 1995; 2000 2014
Table 7 Fixed lines in service and penetration 1990; 2000 - 2017
Table 8 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2022
Table 9 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2015 - 2022
Table 10 Historic - Koryolink revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX 2012 - 2015
Table 11 Historic Koryolink ARPU 2012 - 2014
Table 12 Historic - Koryolink quarterly revenue, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, capex 2009 - 2011
Table 13 Historic - Koryolink quarterly subscribers, MoU and ARPU 2009 2014
Chart 1 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
Chart 2 Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
Chart 3 Fixed Broadband vs Mobile Penetration - Northern Asia (selected countries)
Chart 4 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2022
Chart 5 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2015 - 2022
Exhibit 1 Map of North Korea
Exhibit 2 Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 3 Northern Asia - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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