World Facts

Countries With The Highest Number Of Telephone Lines

China leads the countries of the world in the number of telephone lines in use, followed by countries of the European Union and the United States.

China is ranked as the world’s top country regarding phone lines in use. Telephone lines are an important element of a country’s telecommunication industry. Telephone lines are analog and fixed, and they link a customer’s terminal equipment with the switch telephone public network. The digital mobile phones are gradually replacing telephone lines.

Telephone Use In Asia

China boasts a total of 249,400,000 telephone lines spread throughout the nation. The high number of phone lines in the country is a result of countrywide efforts to boost the telecommunication sector undertaken in the 1960s and 1970s. China’s large population also translates to a high number of telephone users. Japan comes in second in Asia with a total of 63,610,000 telephone lines. Like China, Japan improved its telecommunication industry parallel to economic development. The telecommunication sector of Iran is mostly state owned, and significant progress has been made to connect the country by both digital and analog means. The nation has 30,590,000 telephone lines, the highest in the Middle East. Indonesia has 29,640,000 while South Korea has 29,480,000 telephone lines. India’s total number of phone lines is 27,000,000, and those in Taiwan are 14,040,000. Telephone lines in Turkey are provided for by the monopoly Turk Telekom. The number of telephone lines in the state currently stands at 12,530,000.

Europe's Telephone Lines

The continent of Europe boasts some of the most developed economies with efficient telecommunication sectors. Germany leads in the region with 47,020,000 telephone lines. Its telecommunication sector was completely liberalized in 1998 fueling wider connectivity. Most fixed telephone lines in France are provided and operated by Orange. The number of telephone lines set up in the state amount to 38,810,000. 33,240,000 telephone lines have been set up in the UK since 1878 when the Telephone Company was founded to offer the nation’s first telephone services. Italy, Spain and Ukraine have 20,570,000, 19,090,000, and 10,460,000 telephone lines respectively.

North American Telephone Network

The US ranks second to China with 129,400,000 telephone lines. Telephone line usage in the US shot up after the Second World War when the government began to regulate the industry. Previously, the telephone company had been dominated by the American Telegraph and Telephone Company (AT&T). The telephone network in Mexico prides in being one of the highly developed in Latin America. The country has 21,100,000 telephone lines set up throughout the nation. Canada also has a well-developed telecommunication sector complete with 16,600,000 phone lines.

Telephone Usage In South America

Brazil’s telephone line market features three major players, namely "Oi", "Embratel", and "Telefônica". At 44,100,000 telephone lines, the country ranks top in South America in regards to telephone lines. Every carrier has its prefix, and each region has its prefix as well.

Russian Telephone System

The telecommunications industry in Russia has witnessed significant development since the 1980s. The sector is characterized by both analog and digital connectivity available in almost all areas of the country. However, telephone services in the rural regions are inadequate and outdated. A total of 39,430,000 telephone lines have been set up in the country.

Emerging Trends

Telephone lines are fast being replaced by cellular phone use in most countries of the world. Most of the emerging economies did not have well-established fixed line systems and thus have been quick to embrace digital systems and abandon telephone lines altogether.

Countries Using The Highest Number Of Telephone Lines

RankRegion Telephone Lines (Millions)
1China249.4
2European Union 213.8
3United States129.4
4Japan63.6
5Germany47.0
6Brazil44.1
7Russia39.4
8France38.8
9United Kingdom33.2
10Iran30.6
11Indonesia 29.6
12South Korea29.5
13India27.0
14Mexico 21.1
15Italy20.6
16Spain19.1
17Canada16.6
18Taiwan14.0
19Turkey12.5
20Ukraine10.5

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