In 2003 around 250,000 refurbished mobile phones entered the Romanian mobile market, accounting for 10% of all handsets sold, and helping fuel the rapid expansion of wireless services in a country where the cost of a connection has historically proved a barrier. Mobile penetration in Romania stands at around 32%, but the figure is being driven upwards through recycling initiatives from the likes of UK-based Shields Environmental. Second-hand phones imported from countries such as the UK, Germany and Italy cost around half that of a new phone and Romanian users are grasping the opportunity to get connected through such means. Romanians are also reported to be willing to spend a larger proportion of their income on mobile services than their western counterparts. Although APRU is around half that of the levels found in the west, the average monthly salary is just 5% of those found in western European nations.