LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS, NORTH KOREA WILL ALLOW VISITORS TO BRING OWN CELLPHONES INTO COUNTRY
By Jean H. Lee, The Associated Press January 21, 2013
PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea is loosening some restrictions on foreign cellphones by allowing visitors to bring their own phones into the country.<...>
Now, foreigners can bring qualifying phones into the country and purchase a SIM card for use in North Korea, or rent a handset with a SIM card that allows them to call most foreign countries, foreign embassies in Pyongyang and international hotels in the North Korean capital, according to 3G cellphone service provider Koryolink.
However, foreigners will not be able to communicate by mobile phone with local North Koreans, whose cellphones operate on a separate network, and they will not have access to the Internet using locally provided SIM cards. They can phone Japan and the United States, but not South Korea.
Cellphone use has multiplied in North Korea since Egyptian telecommunications firm Orascom built a 3G network in North Korea four years ago. More than a million people are using cellphones in North Korea, according to Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, which runs Koryolink as part of a joint venture with North Korea's telecommunications ministry called CHEO Technology JV Co.
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