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Why does Telefonica come to Korea?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Yesterday (15 Sep. 2009), I got very excited from early morning. It was due to a TMT related conference held in Seoul, Korea. The conference was officially called ‘Telefonica Global Project Conference’, organized by KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency).

[Global Collaboration between Telefonica and KOTRA]

Telefonica (if you don’t know this company, just Google it!) in fact came to Korea to find potential business partners in Korea. The conference was structured mainly in two sessions: 1) Understanding of Telefonica (the company, its global business, and technology/service); 2) Private meetings between Telefonica and potential Korean partners. Since Veyond Partners is not mobile service provider, we attended the first session only.

Kim Faura, the CEO of Telefonica, Cataluna, gave presentation on ‘Where does Telefonica come from’, ‘Where Telefonica is now’, and ‘How Telefonica is evolving’ to give big picture of the company and its strategy. Followed by this, Dr. Gerard Mula, Area Manager for Internet and Multimedia Technologies at Telefonica I+D (R&D center). He focused more on ‘How they innovate their technology and services’, ‘How they collaborate with global partners’ and ‘What areas they want to collaborate with potential Korean partners’.

[Presentation by Kim Faura]

They seem to visit Korea because Korea’s mobile tech companies have so advanced technologies and services. They are basically highly flexible in terms of business partnership area but their hypothetical fields of interests include mobile 3D video, mobile contents download, User profiling services, mobile advertisements, mobile social network, u-Health, etc.

There were less than 100 attendants in the conference. But next conference in 10th November by KOTRA seemed even more interesting. The ambitious conference was called ‘Global Mobile Vision 2009’ (www.globalmobilevision.com) Next time, I expect to meet not only Telefonica but also many other global companies (113 companies) such as T-Mobile, Sprint, NTT DoCoMo, Nokia, etc in one place.

I am also going to post the summary of interview with Kim Faura with one of Korea’s leading newspapers soon.

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Awareness of cybersecurity to increase

Monday, July 20th, 2009

There is a swedish saying was that goes, ” Worry gives a small thing a big shadow”. This saying rings true, considering the recent cyberattacks on Korea. The current shadow is quite ominous despite no serious harm nor data-hacking was committed, but fear of an hidden North Korean aggression is overwhelming . However, Korea can seize this mishap to increase population’s level of awareness to cybersecurity.

As one of the most wired country of the world, Korea is exposed to an unprecedented extent. 93% of households are connected to Internet through HighSpeed Broadband, with an average PCs per 1000 population of 442. According to public statements of country’s biggest online security firm executive, the digital convergence of Korea carries even more threats : “Televisions and phones today are connected to the network and are designed with the same structure as computers, so you have to say they are potential targets”. Thus, a smartphone may become a Zombie and be included into Botnets, the vast group of infected PCs from where DDOS are launched.

The country is poorly prepared to ever growing cyberattack scale. By nature, the average customers are not inclined to spend money into expensive antivirus software. The government itself is reluctant to do so; budget for cybersecurity is 2 to 3 percents of IT-related amount.
Even financial organizations reacts only when threaten. Banks are now equipped since a cyberattack in February. It’s not the case for all others financial organizations : “Only a handful of major securities firms are equipped with systems to overcome DDoS attacks, and the rest are known to be vulnerable to such cyber terrorist attack”, leaked anonymously security firm source.

[Korea’s No.1 Anti-virus software]

Awareness is increasing . The government now engages structural plans to enable to separate local governmental network with civilian Internet if needed. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance will provide a cybersecurity center for financial and economical institutions within this year. More importantly, companies now purchase defense systems for their self protection. Sales reports record a boom for this range of products, pictured as a “flood” by an official of a security lab adding “After these attacks, DDoS blocking programs will see a rise in popularity”.

Korean situation is a warning for all countries walking toward digital age and ubiquitous society. One must prepare himself before danger is coming, not after, and the first step is self-awareness

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Korean IPTV service coming to the United States

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

POSDATA, an IT service provider established by Korea’s largest steelmaker POSCO, has announced the commercial launch of its IPTV service after a trial since the end of last year in Los Angeles where there is a high Korean and Asian immigrant population density. At the initial stage of the IPTV service in Los Angeles, the service offerings will be aimed at penetrating Korean and Asian American market that comprises a large proportion of those who has a quiet understanding of Korean culture by providing video-on-demand(VOD) of Korean dramas, movies, entertainment shows, etc. To ensure relable supply of contents POSDATA has cooperated with Korean broadcasting such as MBC, SBS, and KBS and worked with local partners in the United States who have a strong marketing network in the Korean and Asian community. Also, POSDATA has established a joint venture with Celrun, a diversified IP set top box manufacturer, and Acanettv, a digital TV platform provider, in order to facilitate its IPTV operation.

After a successful launch the service offerings will be extended by adding TV shopping malls, online education programs, Karaoke, etc. In addition, POSDATA has planned to combine its IPTV service with Mobile WiMax in which POSDATA has its own core technology. It is believed by POSDATA that Mobile IPTV will bring an edge to its IPTV business in the U.S. market.

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