Koryolink

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Koryolink
고려링크
Joint venture
Industry Telecommunication
Founded 2008
Headquarters Pyongyang
Area served
Pyongyang, and five additional cities and eight highways and railways.
Products Telephony, Mobile Network Access
Revenue US$ 5.8 million[citation needed]
Parent Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (75%) Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation
Website intranet Homepage Kwangmyung

Koryolink (Korean: 고려링크, styled as koryolink) is a North Korean wireless telecommunications provider. A joint venture between Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC), Koryolink started in 2008 and was the first 3G mobile operator in North Korea.[1] It offers service in Pyongyang and five additional cities as well as along eight highways and railways. Phone numbers on the network are prefixed with +850 (0)1912. Despite being a 3G network, there is no Internet access (only Intranet access) for domestic users. Although as of April 2014, mobile internet access for foreigners with limited speed or traffic amount was available at a comparably high price.[2]

History[edit]

Woman using Koryolink mobile phone network in Pyongyang

Orascom Telecom Holding was awarded the license to establish a 3G mobile network in North Korea in January 2008. Koryolink has deployed its 3G network to initially cover Pyongyang, which has a population of more than two million people, with an ambitious plan to expand its coverage to the entire country.

At network launch in December 2008, the network had 5,300 subscribers.[3] Orascom reported 432,000 North Korean subscribers after two years of operation (December 2010),[4] increasing to 809,000 by September 2011,[5] and exceeding one million by February 2012.[6] By April 2013, subscriber numbers neared two million.[7]

In 2015 subscriber numbers exceeded three million and the network was profitable. However, the Government of North Korea refused permission to transfer profits from North Korea to Orascom and even started a second carrier (Kangsong Net) to compete with Koryolink.[8] As result Orascom in its financial result reported, that it lost control over Koryolink's activities.[1][9]

Only calls within North Korea are allowed on Koryolink. However, smuggled phones have been used just over the border in China to International Direct Dialing.[10]

Use by foreigners[edit]

On February 26, 2013, Koryolink launched its internet service for foreigners[11] On March 29, 2013, Koryolink restricted internet service for foreigners.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Williams, Martyn (18 November 2015). "How a telecom investment in North Korea went horribly wrong". Network World. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-14. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  3. ^ "North Korean Economy Watch » Orascom Telecom Holding". Nkeconwatch.com. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  4. ^ Orascom Telecom Holding First Quarter 2011 Results Archived 2012-04-12 at the Wayback Machine., page 29, Orascomtelecom.com (accessed 20 May 2011)
  5. ^ Orascom Telecom Holding Third Quarter 2011 Results Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine., page 30 Orascomtelecom.com (accessed 28 April 2012)
  6. ^ Alaa Shahine (2 February 2012). "Orascom Telecom Media Shares Jump After North Korea Announcement". Bloomberg. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "North Korea embraces 3G service". BBC. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Ricks, Thomas E.; Kim, Yonho (2016-03-17). "North Korea's silent hard currency source: That cellphone business with Orascom". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  9. ^ Lankov, Andrei (6 February 2017). "The limits of North Korea's meager economic growth". NK News. 
  10. ^ Lee, Dave (2015-05-29). "Bureau 121: How good are Kim Jong-un's elite hackers?". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  11. ^ Park Seong Guk (26 February 2013). "Daily NK - Koryolink Mobile Internet Launched". Daily NK. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Cho Jong Ik (29 March 2013). "Daily NK - Tourist Internet Cut after a Month". Daily NK. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 

External links[edit]