12 Countries With The Lowest Rates Of Cell Phone Subscriptions

EriTel, the sole provider of mobile service in Eritrea, is strictly controlled by the government.
EriTel, the sole provider of mobile service in Eritrea, is strictly controlled by the government.

The world has become technically sound and most of the countries are now connected through various means of communication, whether the use of a cellular phone, social networking, or otherwise. This has made the people to connect within no time because of infrastructure development, technological process and falling prices of cell phones have made billions of users to use mobile technology. However, many countries in the world have low rate of cell phone subscriptions.

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Low Rates of Cell Phone Subscriptions

Eritrea takes the first spot with 6 Mobile Cell Phone Subscriptions per 100 people. North Korea has 11 Mobile Cell Phone Subscriptions per 100 people and Kiribati has 17 Mobile Cell Phone Subscriptions per 100 people.


The Telecommunication in the country of Eritrea is under the control of the government of Eritrea, and EriTel is the only network operator for mobile telephone and landline communication network. Many factors are reported that are responsible for the lowest rate of cell phone subscriptions by the people and one of them are the higher prices. Most of the people have tried to flee the country in the recent years or already based in other countries due to slow economic development that is also one of the reasons for lower cell phone subscriptions. People cannot raise their voices against the regimes untoward policies and expensive rates of cell phones so more than half of the population cannot afford a cell phone. According to ITU data, only 1% of people have landline facility and 5.6% have mobile phone connection in the country that is lowest in the world.

North Korea

North Korea takes the second spot. Because of the country’s isolationist policies, they have not adopted this mainstream technology fully. Only 4.7% of people have landline connections and 9.7% have cell phone connections. The internet connection in the country is only available for foreigners who are residing in the country. However, Egyptian Telecommunication Company Orascom launched the 3G cellular network in the country but they have to face worse situation as the government limited its citizen to communicate with other people and nearly killed many citizens who raised voice against it. The Socioeconomic impact was that the financial status of the households is adjudged with the cell phones the family possesses since the cell phones were sold at higher rates.


Kiribati remains on the third spot as the country also has the lowest rate of cell phone subscriptions because the connectivity is provided only through High-Frequency Radio telephone. However, with the passage of time, the Coconut Wireless has been introduced in the area that is expensive for the citizens. Even the satellite network in the area is unsuitable and higher in rates for the locals. The other socioeconomic implications in Kiribati are over-population, rising sea levels since it is an Island country and poverty also refrain people from affording cell phone subscriptions.

Inferences and Implications from Cellular Phone Subscription Data

Lastly, it can be inferred from above that some of the Asian and African countries are still lacking the usage of cell phones due to unorganized structure. Even higher installation prices add to the already expensive telecommunication systems, causing them to become prohibitively expensive for many people.

12 Countries With The Lowest Rates Of Cell Phone Subscriptions

RankCountry Mobile Cell Phone Subscriptions Per 100 People
1Eritrea 6
2North Korea 11
3Kiribati 17
4Cuba 22
5South Sudan 25
6Central African Republic 25
7Marshall Islands 29
8Burundi 30
9Ethiopia 32
10Djibouti 32
11Malawi 33
12Tuvalu 38

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