Fixed telephone subscriptions - Country Ranking

Definition: Fixed telephone subscriptions refers to the sum of active number of analogue fixed telephone lines, voice-over-IP (VoIP) subscriptions, fixed wireless local loop (WLL) subscriptions, ISDN voice-channel equivalents and fixed public payphones.

Source: International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database, and World Bank estimates.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 China 249,430,000.00 2014
2 United States 128,495,000.00 2014
3 Japan 63,610,240.00 2014
4 Germany 47,021,000.00 2014
5 Brazil 44,128,190.00 2014
6 France 38,805,000.00 2014
7 Russia 38,212,580.00 2014
8 United Kingdom 33,238,080.00 2014
9 Iran 30,653,690.00 2014
10 Korea 29,481,230.00 2014
11 India 27,000,100.00 2014
12 Indonesia 26,224,970.00 2014
13 Mexico 22,002,550.00 2014
14 Italy 20,581,430.00 2014
15 Spain 19,089,020.00 2014
16 Canada 16,403,600.00 2014
17 Turkey 12,528,870.00 2014
18 Ukraine 10,461,080.00 2014
19 Argentina 9,602,605.00 2014
20 Australia 9,190,000.00 2014
21 Venezuela 7,808,524.00 2014
22 Colombia 7,180,937.00 2014
23 Netherlands 6,946,000.00 2014
24 Egypt 6,315,915.00 2014
25 Thailand 5,690,000.00 2014
26 Vietnam 5,562,200.00 2014
27 Greece 5,219,341.00 2014
28 Pakistan 4,897,814.00 2014
29 Poland 4,822,233.00 2014
30 Portugal 4,588,563.00 2014
31 Romania 4,560,000.00 2014
32 Belgium 4,532,475.00 2014
33 Belarus 4,514,315.00 2014
34 Hong Kong SAR, China 4,417,856.00 2014
35 Malaysia 4,410,200.00 2014
36 Switzerland 4,374,700.00 2014
37 Kazakhstan 4,353,400.00 2014
38 Sweden 3,778,569.00 2014
39 South Africa 3,647,770.00 2014
40 Syrian Arab Republic 3,629,047.00 2014
41 Saudi Arabia 3,622,262.00 2014
42 Chile 3,407,534.00 2014
43 Austria 3,254,700.00 2014
44 Algeria 3,098,787.00 2014
45 Philippines 3,093,236.00 2014
46 Peru 3,032,556.00 2014
47 Hungary 3,011,253.00 2014
48 Israel 2,900,000.00 2014
49 Serbia 2,856,134.00 2014
50 Sri Lanka 2,678,739.00 2014
51 Uzbekistan 2,507,711.00 2014
52 Morocco 2,487,738.00 2014
53 Ecuador 2,441,690.00 2014
54 United Arab Emirates 2,103,036.00 2014
55 Ireland 2,022,522.00 2014
56 Czech Republic 2,001,900.00 2014
57 Singapore 1,996,700.00 2014
58 Iraq 1,947,700.00 2014
59 Denmark 1,873,404.00 2014
60 New Zealand 1,850,000.00 2014
61 Bulgaria 1,816,974.00 2014
62 Azerbaijan 1,795,448.00 2014
63 Guatemala 1,718,298.00 2014
64 Croatia 1,568,981.00 2014
65 Cuba 1,264,817.00 2014
66 Dominican Republic 1,226,109.00 2014
67 Moldova 1,218,274.00 2014
68 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 1,180,000.00 2014
69 Yemen 1,168,600.00 2014
70 Georgia 1,097,364.00 2014
71 Uruguay 1,082,903.00 2014
72 Norway 1,080,869.00 2014
73 Cameroon 1,051,356.00 2014
74 Bangladesh 974,181.00 2014
75 Lebanon 965,723.00 2014
76 El Salvador 953,773.00 2014
77 Tunisia 949,395.00 2014
78 Lao PDR 920,756.00 2014
79 Slovak Republic 918,662.00 2014
80 Costa Rica 881,217.00 2014
81 Bolivia 876,111.00 2014
82 Bosnia and Herzegovina 847,694.00 2014
83 Nepal 837,266.00 2014
84 Puerto Rico 823,527.00 2014
85 Ethiopia 820,000.00 2014
86 Slovenia 769,682.00 2014
87 Libya 706,400.00 2014
88 Finland 638,800.00 2014
89 Turkmenistan 624,400.00 2014
90 Panama 588,397.00 2014
91 Lithuania 585,515.00 2014
92 Armenia 572,772.00 2014
93 Honduras 527,339.00 2014
94 Myanmar 526,792.00 2014
95 Kuwait 494,000.00 2014
96 Kyrgyz Republic 443,184.00 2014
97 Tajikistan 440,700.00 2014
98 Qatar 417,589.00 2014
99 Sudan 415,106.00 2014
100 Estonia 407,289.00 2014
101 Latvia 400,000.00 2014
102 Macedonia 383,590.00 2014
103 Jordan 375,483.00 2014
104 Oman 375,196.00 2014
105 Mauritius 372,200.00 2014
106 Paraguay 371,902.00 2014
107 Cambodia 361,056.00 2014
108 Nicaragua 339,629.00 2014
109 Zimbabwe 329,475.00 2014
110 Cyprus 327,874.00 2014
111 Uganda 324,442.00 2014
112 Senegal 311,945.00 2014
113 Trinidad and Tobago 288,747.00 2014
114 Bahrain 284,684.00 2014
115 Angola 281,327.00 2014
116 Luxembourg 271,100.00 2014
117 Ghana 260,407.00 2014
118 Jamaica 254,500.00 2014
119 Madagascar 249,080.00 2014
120 Côte d'Ivoire 242,684.00 2014
121 Albania 235,734.00 2014
122 Malta 230,361.00 2014
123 Mongolia 228,327.00 2014
124 Benin 195,662.00 2014
125 Nigeria 183,290.00 2014
126 Namibia 182,593.00 2014
127 Kenya 179,990.00 2014
128 Iceland 171,535.00 2014
129 Botswana 169,236.00 2014
130 Montenegro 164,671.00 2014
131 Guyana 159,729.00 2014
132 Mali 154,417.00 2014
133 Macao SAR, China 153,587.00 2014
134 Barbados 151,394.00 2014
135 Tanzania 151,274.00 2014
136 Papua New Guinea 145,100.00 2014
137 The Bahamas 125,658.00 2014
138 Burkina Faso 124,595.00 2014
139 Zambia 114,420.00 2014
140 Niger 105,300.00 2014
141 Afghanistan 101,931.00 2014
142 New Caledonia 88,500.00 2014
143 Mozambique 86,856.00 2014
144 Suriname 84,900.00 2014
145 Fiji 75,750.00 2014
146 Malawi 64,247.00 2014
147 Eritrea 64,000.00 2014
148 Cabo Verde 58,534.00 2014
149 Somalia 57,200.00 2014
150 The Gambia 55,841.00 2014
151 Togo 53,311.00 2014
152 Mauritania 51,432.00 2014
153 Monaco 50,610.00 2014
154 Rwanda 49,612.00 2014
155 Brunei 48,249.00 2014
156 Swaziland 44,400.00 2014
157 Lesotho 41,071.00 2014
158 Haiti 41,000.00 2014
159 Andorra 38,237.00 2014
160 Cayman Islands 32,903.00 2014
161 St. Lucia 32,832.00 2014
162 Grenada 27,279.00 2014
163 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 23,903.00 2014
164 Bhutan 23,823.00 2014
165 Chad 23,580.00 2014
166 Comoros 23,500.00 2014
167 Belize 22,700.00 2014
168 Djibouti 21,912.00 2014
169 Burundi 21,669.00 2014
170 Seychelles 21,208.00 2014
171 Antigua and Barbuda 19,915.00 2014
172 St. Kitts and Nevis 19,400.00 2014
173 San Marino 18,600.00 2014
174 Gabon 18,498.00 2014
175 Liechtenstein 18,043.00 2014
176 Dominica 17,600.00 2014
177 Greenland 17,200.00 2014
178 Sierra Leone 16,500.00 2014
179 Congo 16,300.00 2014
180 Equatorial Guinea 15,110.00 2014
181 Tonga 12,000.00 2014
182 Samoa 11,778.00 2014
183 Liberia 10,040.00 2014
184 Kiribati 9,200.00 2014
185 Solomon Islands 7,525.00 2014
186 Palau 7,125.00 2014
187 São Tomé and Principe 6,800.00 2014
188 Vanuatu 5,727.00 2014
189 Guinea-Bissau 5,000.00 2014
190 Timor-Leste 3,557.00 2014
191 Tuvalu 1,500.00 2014
192 Central African Republic 800.00 2014
193 Dem. Rep. Congo 0.00 2014
193 Guinea 0.00 2014

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Development Relevance: The quality of an economy's infrastructure, including power and communications, is an important element in investment decisions for both domestic and foreign investors. Government effort alone is not enough to meet the need for investments in modern infrastructure; public-private partnerships, especially those involving local providers and financiers, are critical for lowering costs and delivering value for money. In telecommunications, competition in the marketplace, along with sound regulation, is lowering costs, improving quality, and easing access to services around the globe. Access to telecommunication services rose on an unprecedented scale over the past two decades. This growth was driven primarily by wireless technologies and liberalization of telecommunications markets, which have enabled faster and less costly network rollout. Fixed telephone lines are those that connect a subscriber's terminal equipment to the public switched telephone network and that have a port on a telephone exchange. This term is synonymous with the term main station or Direct Exchange Line (DEL) that is commonly used in telecommunication documents. Integrated services digital network channels and fixed wireless subscribers are included. A fixed line also refers to a phone which uses a solid medium telephone line such as a metal wire or fiber optic cable for transmission as distinguished from a mobile cellular line which uses radio waves for transmission. Over the past decade new financing and technology, along with privatization and market liberalization, have spurred dramatic growth in telecommunications in many countries. With the rapid development of mobile telephony and the global expansion of the Internet, information and communication technologies are increasingly recognized as essential tools of development, contributing to global integration and enhancing public sector effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency.

Limitations and Exceptions: Operators have traditionally been the main source of telecommunications data, so information on subscriptions has been widely available for most countries. This gives a general idea of access, but a more precise measure is the penetration rate - the share of households with access to telecommunications. During the past few years more information on information and communication technology use has become available from household and business surveys. Also important are data on actual use of telecommunications services. Ideally, statistics on telecommunications (and other information and communications technologies) should be compiled for all three measures: subscriptions, access, and use. The quality of data varies among reporting countries as a result of differences in regulations covering data provision and availability. Discrepancies between global and national figures may arise when countries use a different definition than the one used by ITU. For example, some countries do not include the number of ISDN channels when calculating the number of fixed telephone lines. Discrepancies may also arise in cases where the end of a fiscal year differs from that used by ITU, which is the end of December of every year. A number of countries have fiscal years that end in March or June of every year. Data are usually not adjusted but discrepancies in the definition, reference year or the break in comparability in between years are noted in a data note. For this reason, data are not always strictly comparable. Missing values are estimated by ITU.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: A fixed telephone line (previously called main telephone line in operation) is an active line connecting the subscriber's terminal equipment to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and which has a dedicated port in the telephone exchange equipment. This term is synonymous with the terms main station or Direct Exchange Line (DEL) that are commonly used in telecommunication documents. It may not be the same as an access line or a subscriber. This should include the active number of analog fixed telephone lines, ISDN channels, fixed wireless, public payphones and VoIP subscriptions. Active lines are those that have registered an activity in the past three months. Data on fixed telephone lines are derived using administrative data that countries (usually the regulatory telecommunication authority or the Ministry in charge of telecommunications) regularly, and at least annually, collect from telecommunications operators. Data are considered to be very reliable, timely, and complete. Data for this indicator are readily available for approximately 90 percent of countries, either through ITU's World Telecommunication Indicators questionnaires or from official information available on the Ministry or Regulator's website. For the rest, information can be aggregated through operators' data (mainly through annual reports) and complemented by market research reports.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Please cite the International Telecommunication Union for third-party use of these data.