Archive for the ‘Checom Technology Joint Venture Company’ Category

DPRK builds hundreds of cell towers, expands distance education opportunities

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 10-11-22-1
11/22/2010

The Chosun Sinbo reported on November 15 that North Korea has erected hundreds of cellular signal towers throughout the country, providing phone service to every province, city, and town in North Korea. According to the report, the expansion of the North’s 3G network has really taken off in 2010, and the number of subscribers within the country has grown 2.5 times in the latter half of the year, as has the available coverage area.

This initiative has focused on setting up hundreds of cell towers near major highways, cities, and industries important to economic advancement. It was also reported that industry insiders had revealed that not only towns, cities, and provinces were targeted for the expansion of cellular service, but that there was a plan to erect towers in the back country, as well, and that authorities aimed to extend service to every village in the country by next year.

To this end, the Chosun Sinbo reported, the Pyongyang-based DPRK-PRC JV Checom Joint Venture Company has set up a “flow manufacturing process and is producing hundreds of high-performance cellular phones each day” and, “Related sectors are testing new devices and actively working on a project aimed at modifying the operating software to suit the needs of North Koreans.”

The paper also reported that North Korea’s academics and scientists collaborated to develop such a system in a short time, and that the system was also integrated into the nation’s Intranet. This system is different from the previous configuration in that videos, recordings, and text messages can be sent both ways, so that the system better supports an exchange of information rather than merely a transfer.

The paper emphasized that by providing distance education service to every local academic office, city and town library, and science and educational facility, the North has enacted a state-of-the-art, nationwide education system. In addition, by providing the infrastructure for real-time interactive lectures, workers and children in every region of the country can easily pursue their education by actively participating in a wide range of lectures.

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DPRK manufacturing mobile phones

Monday, November 15th, 2010

According to Bernama:

North Korea has started to mass-produce cellular phones while trying to customize their operating systems to satisfy local needs, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a pro-Pyongyang newspaper as saying.

The report by Chosun Sinbo, run by a group of pro-North Korea residents in Tokyo and monitored in Seoul, came after Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding announced earlier this month that its mobile business in the communist state is rapidly expanding.

The number of mobile phone subscribers has at least quadrupled over the period of one year in North Korea, according to Orascom. The expansion doesn’t mean that the regime has eased its rules aimed at restricting the flow of information in and out of the country.

Chosun Sinbo said Monday in its report from Pyongyang that a firm known as Checom Technology Joint Venture Company has set up a “flow manufacturing process and is producing hundreds of high-performance cellular phones each day.”

Checom is a Pyongyang-based electronics and communications company, according to the Web site of Songsang Company, a Dandong, China-based firm that trades with North Korea.

Flow manufacturing is a build-to-order process aimed at minimizing inventory.

“Related sectors are testing new devices and actively working on a project aimed at modifying the operating software to suit the needs of local users,” Chosun Sinbo said.

“Central engineering rooms for mobile communications are also pushing a program to develop software for their main machines to meet the domestic environment.”

The report added that a video calling service has also been made available while “hundreds of base stations” that transmit signals have been set up across the country.

Orascom, which operates jointly with the local Koryolink, had said in its earnings report that video calling “resulted in a high level of demand, especially from the youth segment.”

North Korea first launched a mobile phone service in Pyongyang in November 2002, but banned it after a deadly explosion in the northern Ryongchon train station in April 2004, possibly out of concern that it could be used in a plot against the regime.

In 2008, the country reversed its policy and introduced a 3G mobile phone network in the joint venture with Orascom.

However, the overall “mobile penetration” remains at 1 percent in the country that has a per-capita GDP of US$1,900 and a population of 22.8 million, according to Orascom.

Read the full story here:
North Korea begins mass-producing cell phones to meet local demands
Bernama (Malaysia)
11/15/2010

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