A blog dedicated to technology news in North Korea have reported that almost two million North Koreans now use the country’s only 3G network.
The figure has been confirmed by 3G provider Koryolink, a partnership between Egyptian telecoms firm Orascom and the North Korean government.
The service can only be used to make voice calls, and all international calls are banned.
At the start of 2012 Koryolink claimed to have one million 3G subscribers.
In January 2013 the government began allowing visitors to North Korea to bring in their mobile phones for the first time.
Unlike residents, visitors to North Korea would now be able to use the 3G network for mobile internet access as well, by purchasing local SIM cards, the country said at the time.
However, last month, a China-based tour operator called Koryo Tours, which specializes in tourist visits to North Korea, posted a note on its website saying that 3G was no longer available for visitors.
North Koreans only have access to a very limited, state-run set of internet pages.
When Google Chair Eric Schmidt visited North Korea at the start of the year he urged the government to allow citizens access to the wider internet and said it would be “easy” for the 3G network to include data access.
“As the world becomes increasingly connected, the North Korean decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world and their economic growth,” Eric Schmidt wrote in a blog post.