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2008 Top 10 News on Korean Technology Market: Part 2

Posted: December 31st, 2008, by Yunho Chung

2008 Top 10 News on Korean Technology Market is continued from Part 1.

6. WiBro (Mobile WiMax) is going global

Korea’s WiBro players such as Samsung, KT and PosData are harvesting in its global market penetration. For example, Sprint-Nextel started to provide Mobile WiMax service over Baltimore with Samsung.

Also WiBro players have some achievements in 2008 as following (click to see detail).

7. Korea, Nation of e-Democracy

At first half, Korean netizens were busy to discuss about controversial and political issues including US beef imports and Grand Canal Plan on the internet.

Those discussion on the internet actually triggered candlelight vigil nationalwide. In Korea, internet is considered as the space for swaying public opinion. However while providing an opportunity for discussion and feedback about stories, the culture of posting comments has highlighted the dark side of the Internet, where people irresponsibly express extreme opinions from behind a cloak of anonymity.

8. Consolidation deepens in communication industry

Market consolidation on Korean communication industry is being accelerated. Three major camps, SK , KT, and LG are competing at mobile, IPTV, broadband and VoIP market.

Last February, SK Telecom, the leading mobile operator, merged Hanaro Telecom (as is SK Broadband), the broadband operator, last February. M&A between KT and KTF seems to be progress next year and LG Dacom, LG Powercom, and LG Telecom are considering M&A as well.


9. Changes on regulatory body

Korean government founded Korean Communications Commission (KCC) on March. Befor its foundation, MIC (Ministry of Information and Communications) regulated mainly telecom and communication industries, and Korean Broadcasting Commission regulated broadcasting market. However KCC is responsible for enforcement of communication regulations and communication service policies, whose role is similar to Ofcom in UK. Recently KCC is pursuing several policies related to next-generation service and reducing telecommunication prices including IPTV commercialization, number portability for VoIP, and allowing Voice over WiBro with 010 prefix number used for mobile phone.

10. Transforming to 3G

Transforming to 3G is accelerated in 2008. KTF and SKT promoted their 3G services competitively at the first half, therefore 3G penetration rate rose around 30%. SK Telecom and KTF is operating WCDMA, but LG Telecom is providing Lev.A currently. As following chart, 3G subscribers are increasing continuosly.

As 3G subcribers are increasing, various value-added services using USIM card are also providing to customers, including mobile payment, transportation card and so on.

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