Development of North Korean Telecommunications Network

Egypt‘s Oras­com Tele­com Hold­ings owns 75% of a joint ven­ture with North Korea‘s Korea Posts and Telecomm Cor­po­ra­tion (KPTC) that has the license to oper­ate that country‘s only 3G mobile net­work.  The license was grant­ed in Decem­ber 2008. That same month, Oras­com Tele­com opened Ora Bank in Pyongyang as part of a joint ven­ture with the North Kore­an gov­ern­ment-owned For­eign Trade Bank.  Reports indi­cate that Oras­com Tele­com antic­i­pat­ed spend­ing as much as $400 mil­lion on devel­op­ing the net­work in the first three years of the license and that Oras­com antic­i­pates addi­tion­al invest­ments in the tourism, finan­cial, trans­porta­tion and oth­er sec­tors of the coun­try.  The joint Orascom/KPTC com­pa­ny offers cen­sored wire­less ser­vices to North Kore­ans and, report­ed­ly, ‘‘‘uncen­sored‘ ser­vices to for­eign­ers pay­ing $100 for a Wi-Fi hot spot, $200 for a SIM card and $300 for 2GB of data.