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Snapshot on mobile internet usage in Korea

Posted: November 14th, 2007, by Yunho Chung

Recently the National Internet Development Agency of Korea conducted a survey about mobile internet usage among 3000 Koreans aged 12-59. In the last year approx. 27% of all participants used mobile internet at least once a month and 22% used their mobile to access it. Moreover Koreans use mobile internet quite long, with almost 40% of the users staying online for more than 5 minutes. So far only around 3% use mobile broadband like WCDMA or WiBro but 25% intend to use mobile broadband in the future. However so far especially Wibro has not been performing all too well yet.

The top three reasons to use mobile internet are the ability to access it wherever (78%) or whenever (62%) and in order to just “kill the time” (56%). Most participants use it for entertainment purposes (92%), especially downloading ringtones, listenting to streamed music of for games, followed by commercial services (65%), such as MMS, e-mail and accessing CyWorld. Lastly 41% of the participants who are not using mobile internet at the moment are planning to use it in the future resulting in an expected usage of 66%. This perspective truly looks very promising for MNOs and service providers. However one key challenge will be to offer innovative services in order to attract and maintain users. So for MNOs in the Western world which try to educate users to use data related services more intensively Korea is a good window into the future to learn which services are embraced and which are not.

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