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NFH (Offline)
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Default North Korea issuing SIM cards to tourists - 22-01-2013, 07:31

BBC News - North Korea allows foreign visitors to use own mobiles

According to this BBC News article, North Korea is issuing SIM cards to tourists and is now allowing visitors to bring in mobile phones; visitors to the country previously had to leave them at customs and collect them upon departure.

Some explanation of the dual telephone network in North Korea is given at Telephone numbers in North Korea - Wikipedia which explains the restrictions on the numbers that can be called using these SIM cards.
   
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Default 23-01-2013, 22:12

More about the charges at Koryolink international calling rates detailed North Korea Tech

I wonder whether they'll issue nano-SIMs?
   
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Default 23-02-2013, 13:37

BBC News - North Korea to offer mobile internet access

Koryolink will soon allow foreign users to use 3G data as well.
   
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Default 23-02-2013, 14:26

That's just to be able to better track and eavesdrop on visitors and to illuminate the sky with radio waves that form the basis for a passive radar system allowing the detection of stealth aircraft (see Cassidian?s Passive Radar Detects Stealth Aircraft | Defense Technology News at DefenceTalk) - so all driven by intelligence interests.

P.S: The UK seem to be looking into a passive radar system, too: http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/14/u...passive-radar/


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Default 24-02-2013, 08:16

Since nuclear bomb-making and rocketry technology is the only thing North Korea has of "value" that could be used to pay for an Egyptian-supplied mobile network (and the expensive cladding and completion of the economically worthless Ryugyong Hotel, also performed by Orascom Telecom, plus who knows what else), it makes you wonder who got what out of the deal. (Other Middle Eastern "investors" have shown interest in the hotel, even though Pyongyang's other tourist hotels are always empty.) The DPRK regime has never facilitated communication between its citizens, even the privileged ones allowed to live in Pyongyang (who are lucky to own a bicycle), so you can be sure that all calls are listened to.


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Default 24-02-2013, 12:40

Perhaps the nuclear program is just there to sell SIM cards and fill hotel rooms after opening it to inspection. In the tourism market you definitely need to identify niches - attracting and accomodating UN weapon inspectors is one of them, though attracting requires intensive preparation, namely by said nuclear weapon program and years of threatening your neighbours.


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Default 27-02-2013, 05:09

I'm also assuming the DPRK still bans visitors bringing in satphones since those can't easily be monitored or call-blocked, and would also be lower priced competition to the international rates through Orascom/Koryolink. Don't think my Iridium phone would be welcome at the DPRK border.


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Default 28-02-2013, 16:36

I watched a documentary by an independent journalist who went to DPRK as a tourist. I have no desire to go there, ever. Seoul is more than close enough for me.
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Default 11-03-2013, 02:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetKen View Post
I'm also assuming the DPRK still bans visitors bringing in satphones since those can't easily be monitored or call-blocked, and would also be lower priced competition to the international rates through Orascom/Koryolink. Don't think my Iridium phone would be welcome at the DPRK border.
From what I've read, they'll let you bring an unlocked phone now. At least one North Korean tourist reports, after trying to surrender his phone to the Customs agent, that the agent returned his phone and directed him to the booth selling North Korean SIM cards.


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Default 12-03-2013, 23:11

More information about the charges, which are very high:

DPRK to offer mobile internet access for foreigners - China.org.cn

"We will provide both a USB modem and your current own SIM card to get access to Internet, respectively costs 75 euro and 150 euro upon registration, with different levels of charge standard, from 400euro/10G, 250euro/5G, to 150euro/2G for USB and 10 euro for SIM card per month"

Is 150 a record price for buying a prepaid SIM card?
   
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