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Interview with the CEO of Telefonica, Kim Faura

Posted: September 24th, 2009, by Yunho Chung

Following is interview with Kim Faura, the CEO of Telefonica, Cataluna, by ET News. I translated the interview script in Korean into English. Please mind the possible errors in the course of re-translating.

Q. What is the purpose (reason) of your visit to Korea?

▲ We would like to enhance the competitiveness of our company. The technology in Korea has been upgrading. Telefonica will also develop its level of technology in the mobile field. We expect KOTRA would play a significant role to support global cooperation between Telefonica and Korean companies.

Q. Which particular areas of Korean IT are you interested in?

▲ It would be “HSDPA”. Telefonica is behind in area of “HSDPA”. I was very impressed by seeing Korean people using it. We have an intention to apply Korea’s mobile technology not only to the HSDPA area but also to other areas. It was interesting to know about ‘Optical Fiber’ technology of LG Nortel in spite that it is part of wireline communication technology. We’d like to learn the technology and provide it to Spain as well as other countries.

Q.There is a plan for disposal of Nortel’s stake in LG Nortel. Do you have an intention to acquire the stake?

▲ I only talked about technologies that NG Nortel has on this visit.

Q. I know that you’re also planning to visit SK C&C.
▲ We are having a meeting this afternoon. I’m interested in what they’ve got for us but not sure what would be suggested.

Q. Which companies in Korea are you hoping to cooperate with?

▲ We are looking for various companies. Because of this our CTO is along with me. We will decide what types of cooperation we suggest to each of them after ensuring whether price and technology is suitable to Spain market.

Q. What do you see the level of Korea’s mobile technology?

▲ Korea is always one of the best countries. Spain is behind with that and wants to improve. I’ve met with Pantech and there are 4 or 5 cell phones which are interesting to me. It could be evaluated as innovative products in Spain or England. We would negotiate a price with the marketing team.

Q. How much are you expecting to be the purchase amount of Korean brand cell phones?

▲ It was 400 million euro in previous year. It’s been rising since this August; we expect it to be 500 million euro for this year. Our role is to deliver products that customers want. People buy Korean brand cell phone because they want it. Consumers in Spain want to get Samsung or LG cell phone.

Q. How much would it be next year?

▲ I can’t tell exactly how much but with this regards, it would grow to be 6 million euro excluding Pantech. Pantech has to be run through test market.

Q. 7 million euro was put on a global R&D last year. Did Telefonica invest in Korea?

▲ I’m not sure. This investment is for world wide. Investment in Korea will be decided concerning this week meeting.

Q. Have you considered direct investment in Korea?

▲ We intended to 2 ~ 3 years ago but it didn’t work out. Korea market is conservative.

Q. What is Telefonica’s vision?

▲ We need various companies. We were an operator before but now we need to give out the value to our end customer through other application. We are showing steady growth now and looking for contents business.

Q. Is there any condition for Korea Company to cooperate with Telefonica?

▲ The answer is No. If there is a competitive product we will find a solution for the cooperation under any circumstances and of course the company has to be reliable.

Q. What about the global business plan?

▲ We acquired the part share of Telecommunication Company of Italy and China. We have a plan to cooperate with them for developing one mobile platform, which enables Samsung and LG benefit from it.

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