There are nearly two million North Koreans now hooked into the country’s only wireless 3G network, up from one million in 2012, according to North Korea Tech.
The service, provided by Koryolink, is a joint venture between Egyptian firm Orascom Telecom Media and the North Korean (DPRK) government.
But there’s a big caveat: residents can only use it for voice calls, and international calls are banned. The reclusive Hermit Kingdom also restricts users to to state-run internet pages only.
That’s the same for tourists as well — who enjoyed a brief period of unrestricted internet from Pyongyang earlier this year.
In January 2013 the government began allowing visitors to the country to bring in their mobile phones for the first time.
Unlike residents, they would now be able to use the 3G network for mobile internet access as well, by purchasing local SIM cards, the country said at the time.
However last month a Chinese tour operator called Koryotour, which specialises in tourist visits to North Korea, posted a note on its website saying that 3G was no longer available for visitors.
This tweet from journalist Jean H. Lee on Feb. 24, 2013, is believed to be the first message sent to Twitter from inside North Korea:
— Jean H. Lee (@newsjean) February 25, 2013
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