There are a total of 996,401 registered mobile subscribers in the north, 811,183 of which are active, according to the latest statistics released by the north’s Communications authority (BTHK).

The statistics are based on data gathered by the BTHK in the third quarter of 2023.

They suggest a mobile penetration rate of 243 per cent, based on the north’s statistics authority’s official population projection of 410,000 people.

Were this population projection to be accurate, the north would be a significant outlier in terms of its penetration rate.

The GSM Association (GSMA), a non-profit organisation which represents the interests of global mobile network operators, estimates that there are a total of 6.3 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide.

This figure represents a global penetration rate of 73 per cent, while in Europe, that figure rises to 90 per cent.

The Turkish Communications authority (BTK) said in its latest report that Turkey’s current mobile penetration rate Is 113.5 per cent.

However, this penetration rate is still less than half of that of the north, suggesting that the north’s population is much higher than the figure of 410,000 quoted by the Statistics authority.

The BTHK also revealed that there are now a total of 461,785 mobile internet users on the north’s 3G and 4G networks, which would once again suggest the existence of more mobile internet devices than people.

There are mitigating circumstances which may contribute to an elevated rate of mobile subscribers in the north compared to its population, including the fact that a number of Greek Cypriots and others living in the Republic have bought Turkish Cypriot sim cards as they are unable to use their own while in the north.

In addition, the statistics showed that the Republic was fourth on the list of the most international traffic sent by the north’s mobile subscribers, behind Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Iran and Turkmenistan were in fifth and sixth place respectively.