Korea South Communications - 2023


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 23,213,189 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 45 (2021 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 72,855,492 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 141 (2021 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: South Korea is second only to Hong Kong in the world rankings of telecom market maturity; it is also on the leading edge of the latest telecom technology developments, including around 6G; with its highly urbanized, tech-savvy population, South Korea also enjoys very high communication levels across all segments – fixed-line telephony (44% at the start of 2022), fixed broadband (46%), mobile voice and data (144%), and mobile broadband (120%); the performance of the mobile sector is on a par with other developed markets around the region, but it’s the wire line segment that allows South Korea to stand out from the crowd; this is partly a reflection of the large proportion of its population who live in apartment buildings (around 60%), making fiber and apartment LAN connections relatively easy and cost-effective to deploy; the government’s Ultra Broadband convergence Network (UBcN) had aimed to reach 50% adoption by the end of 2022, but that target may be a few more years away; fixed-line teledensity is also at a very high level compared to most of the rest of the world, but it has been on a sharp decline from a rate of 60% ten years ago; on the mobile front, users have enthusiastically migrated from one generation of mobile platform to the next as each iteration becomes available; there also doesn’t appear to be any great concern about there being a lack of demand for 5G in South Korea (when the country is already well supported by 4G networks), with 30% of all subscribers having already made the switch; part of the reason behind the rapid transition may be the subsidized handsets on offer from each of the MNOs and the MVNOs (2022)

domestic: fixed-line approximately 45 per 100 and mobile-cellular services 141 per 100 persons; rapid assimilation of a full range of telecommunications technologies leading to a boom in e-commerce (2021)

international: country code - 82; landing points for EAC-C2C, FEA, SeaMeWe-3, TPE, APCN-2, APG, FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop, KJCN, NCP, and SJC2 submarine cables providing links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and US; satellite earth stations - 66 (2019)

Broadcast media

multiple national TV networks with 2 of the 3 largest networks publicly operated; the largest privately owned network, Seoul Broadcasting Service (SBS), has ties with other commercial TV networks; cable and satellite TV subscription services available; publicly operated radio broadcast networks and many privately owned radio broadcasting networks, each with multiple affiliates, and independent local stations

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 50.96 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 98% (2021 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 22,327,182 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 44 (2020 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Korea South on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea South 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea South 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.