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Where Mobile Isn't: Countries With the Lowest Percentage of Subscribers

Eritrea
Asmara is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea, home to a population of 649,000 inhabitants. Photographer: Danita Delimont/Gallo Images

Can you hear me now? If you're in Burundi, probably not.

On the heels of our slideshow highlighting countries with the highest percentage of people per capita on 4G mobile data networks, here's the other side: a ranking of the nations with the lowest percentage of subscribers to any kind of mobile service.

Several factors affect people's ability to access mobile services around the world. The main ones are obvious - poor or politically unstable countries lack the resources to build networks. But there are other reasons as well, such as the geography of a nation and the overall population.

What follows is a list of the 10 countries with the lowest percentage of mobile subscribers per capita in the world, based on projections this year from Juniper Networks, a large maker of telecommunications equipment.

The list is a good reminder that as consumers in affluent economies celebrate getting their hands on the latest iPhones , there are still many other people across the globe who would be happy just to have mobile access.

  1. Eritrea -- 5 percent (310,000 mobile subscribers out of a population of 5.7 million)
  2. Myanmar -- 6 percent (3 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 48.9 million)
  3. North Korea -- 7 percent (1.8 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 24.6 million)
  4. Cuba -- 14 percent (1.6 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 11.2 million)
  5. Ethiopia -- 23 percent (20.3 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 87.5 million)
  6. Central African Republic -- 27 percent (1.2 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 4.6 million)
  7. Madagascar -- 28 percent (6.2 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 22.3 million)
  8. Malawi -- 28 percent (4.6 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 16.2 million)
  9. Democratic Republic of Congo -- 29 percent (20.7 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 70.6 million)
  10. Burundi -- 32 percent (2.8 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 8.8 million)

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