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North Korea to switch on 3G internet access for foreigners within a week

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eric schmdit north korea
eric schmdit north korea

A month after North Korea started allowing foreign tourists to use cellphones within its borders, the country has given the go-ahead to a move with far broader implications: for the first time, it will enable access to the internet via mobile data. The 3G network won't be available to ordinary North Korean citizens, but the AP reports carrier Koryolink informed foreign residents that the service will be offered no later than March 1st.

Following his recent visit to the country, Google chairman Eric Schmidt noted that it would be "very easy" for North Korea to offer mobile internet access to its citizens. It's unclear what restrictions will be placed on the service, and the country is unlikely to grant North Koreans wide access to the global internet anytime soon — the few cellphone owners are limited to messaging services and subscriptions to the state newspaper — but the move is an unprecedented step nonetheless.