Arab regional mobile operator Orascom Telecom has successfully tested its network in North Korea and will launch mobile services there in the second half of 2008, a Reuters report said.
The Reuters report, quoting the company, also said Orascom's North Korean subsidiary CHEO Technology had successfully made a 'first call' on the network in the reclusive communist state.
'The success of this trial network "&brkbar; represents the first step in providing coverage throughout the DPRK ,' the company said in a statement.
Orascom Telecom won North Korea's first mobile phone licence in January, and has said it plans to invest on infrastructure and licence fees over the next three years.
The Cairo-based group said CHEO, in which the North Korean government holds a 25 % stake, was 'looking to launch its full commercial mobile services within the second half of 2008,' the Reuters report further said.
A spokeswoman said there was no specific launch date for commercial services. Egypt-based telecoms analyst Walaa Hazem of HC Securities said he anticipated a launch early in the second half of the year, the report further said.