North Korea Upgrades Mobile Networks with Huawei Equipment Imports

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North Korea has embarked on a significant endeavor to modernize its mobile networks by importing second-hand telecom equipment from Huawei. As reported by the South Korean publication, Daily NK, the imported electronics are intended for the existing 3G standard base stations and to prepare for the implementation of fourth-generation communication technology. The modernization will commence in the country’s major cities, including Pyongyang, Nampo, Pyongsong, Sariwon, Wonsan, and Hamheung.

According to local sources cited by media reports, authorities have initiated a gradual replacement of telecommunication and transceiver equipment in the base stations with modules imported from China since the beginning of October. This move aims to transition toward advanced technologies in line with the directives of the ruling party. It’s noted that the commencement of the modernization was significantly delayed due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Beyond the equipment aimed at upgrading existing 3G networks, North Korea is importing solutions for 4G networks. Primarily, this involves the purchase of cost-effective Huawei components that have previously been in use. The list of imported devices reportedly includes repeaters, remote monitoring systems, transceiver amplifiers, equipment for controlling the processing of radio signals by the base stations, and more. Simultaneously, the authorities are taking measures to enable independent operation of the telecom equipment by North Korean specialists.

According to Datacenter Dynamics, there are currently two mobile operators functioning in the country—Koryolink and Kang Song NET. Koryolink was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Egypt’s Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) and the local state-owned Korean Post & Telecoms Corporation (KPTC), while Kang Song NET began operating in 2015. Presently, North Korea operates on 3G networks, but it appears the country is poised to take the next step in modernizing its information infrastructure and preparing for the introduction of a new level of communication.

Author Profile

Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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