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3G gaining in North Korea

  |   April 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM
PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 27 (UPI) -- North Korea is closing in on 2 million subscribers to 3G mobile phone service, North Korea Tech reported.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Saturday that service provider Koryolink confirmed the figure, which was disclosed by the firm's chief executive officer, Ezz Heikal.

North Korea Tech is a news blog that covers the reclusive Communist country's technology sector.

Compared with many countries, mobile services in North Korea are limited.

In a country of 24 million people, no data service is available -- only voice -- and international calls are forbidden, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

North Korea flipped this year on its policy for foreign visitors. In January, it allowed foreign visitors to bring cellphones into the country. Later, it dropped data service for foreign visitors, limiting them to just voice service.

North Korea has one mobile provider, Koryolink, which is a joint venture between Orascom Telecom, an Egyptian firm, and the North Korean government.

The service is available in 16 major cities and about 100 smaller cities, Yonhap said.

Despite the limitations, the number of subscribers has escalated from 1 million in February of 2012 to nearly 2 million, Korea Tech said.

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