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Phones confiscated North Korea bans mobile phones

GSM mobile phones were introduced in North Korea in 2002. North Koreas state-owned Korean Post and Telecommunications department set up a joint venture with Thailand-based Loxley Pacific called the Northeast Asia Telephone & Telecommunications. The joint venture was to build a GSM wireless network in the countrys capital and surrounding areas. The joint venture was to build a GSM wireless network in the countrys capital and surrounding areas. According to international telecommunications research company Paul Budde Communications Pty Ltd, the services were available to select North Korean officials by November 2002, reports RCR Wireless News. By the middle of last year, the country counted 40 base stations and about 1,000 users. Some reports say that there were 20 000 mobile phones in the country and that those phones have been confiscated. North Korea has a total population of about 22.5 million people. The mobile ban may be linked to the deadly rain explosion in the country in April, which North Korean officials have said was triggered by a mobile phone.

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