North Korea’s Moment for Mobile? Update

North Korea’s plan to implement mobile telephone services is in the news again. According to Reuters, Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris says that the service will “start in three major cities in the reclusive communist state and the company would then assess the impact.” He said his company wants to see first how fast it will sell that and what kind of ARPUs (average revenue per user) can be generated. Sawiris said he was “astonished” how quickly the North Korean authorities wanted the service to start and he had high hopes for business in the country.”We firmly believe that in the next three or four years we will be having a couple of million subscribers there and we will be seeing ARPUs in the range of $12 or $15 (a month),” he added. Given North Korea’s recent record of attempting to control mobile communications, it will be interesting to follow Orascom’s progress.



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