N Korea launches mobile 'internet' | News | Al Jazeera

N Korea launches mobile 'internet'

Limited service allows users to browse single portal showing news from state media.

    North Korea is one of the few countries where internet access is virtually non-existent [GALLO/GETTY]

    At the time of launch Orascom said it planned to invest about $400m in the North Korean mobile network, beginning in the capital, Pyongyang, and rolling out the service across the country.

    The service is restricted to government approved customers with handsets costing around $700 each, putting them well beyond the reach of all but a very few North Koreans.

    According to recent reports the number of subscribers to the new service had hit 20,000 by the end of March, and was continuing to grow.

    'Black hole'

    North Korea is one of the few countries in the world where internet access is virtually non-existent.

    Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based anti-censorship body, has dubbed North Korea the world's number one "internet black hole".

    The country's designated domain suffix ".kp" is largely unused, although a handful of senior officials and government departments are believed to have internet access via a pipeline into China.

    Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, is believed to frequently browse the web through his own connection.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.