It has already been 3 years since Korean Insight was first launched, with the objective of providing useful information and insights on Korea¡¯s digital landscape.
Well, what can I say? Over the course of three years, there were a number of rapid changes in the Korean market, and while it was indeed quite difficult to cover all the changes and their impacts, I am relieved that I was able to stick to my original intent in creating Korean Insight - that is, to become a reliable source for getting first-hand tips and insights on the Korean telecom, media, and technology sector.
Recently, as Korea¡¯s digital market has been attracting more and more international attention, we feel the expectations on us rising higher. Our initial role and responsibility as an information guide tool for foreigners to the Korean digital industry seem to have widened. Thanks to your interest in Korean Insight, Veyond Partners (http://www.veyond.com) my company, often gets inquiries and business offers from various organizations, corporations, and individuals regarding the Korean digital communications market and its possibilities. Aside from that, through Korean Insight, various international media have contacted me with requests for advice on the Korean digital services. Among them is Wall Street Journal (you can find a couple of interview articles here: Korea Lifts Phone Hurdle or Coming to a Tiny Screen Near You), and Evan Ramstad from WSJ. It is always a pleasurable experience to be one of the first few people that Evan consults whenever he needs a piece of first-hand advice on Korea¡¯s digital sector. Even just a few days ago, I had a chance to meet Evan and give him my views on Korea¡¯s smartphone industry. We will see how my comments will be incorporated in Evan¡¯s upcoming articles.
With such states of affairs, we feel more pressured yet motivated to produce more valuable and insightful contents. Our unchanging goal is to give the global community an idea about the value of Korea¡¯s dynamic market, and to offer innovative business models and tangible opportunities to make use of Korea¡¯s digital industry. Korea, after all, has always been the center of attention for its network sophistication, mobile network services, and lively consumer market. As Korea is considered to be the ideal test-bed for innovative products and services, it will always be interesting to look at how Korea is stepping forward in the era of digital technology.
In the midst of this, the hottest news now in Korea is that the three MNOs of Korea will become four soon; Korea Mobile Internet (KMI), a MNO that will be based on WiBro (mobile WiMAX) service (instead of the current WCDMA or HSDPA system) plans to enter into the Korean telecom market next year. What is especially noteworthy is that KMI will be a joint consortium consisting of MSOs and various corporations, such as Samsung Electronics and Intel. I will talk more about KMI in greater detail at a later entry.
Anyhow, as the arrival of a new MNO in the era of digital convergence will trigger more competition in the telecom market, the rest three MNOs in Korea are searching for strategies to overcome and go beyond Korea¡¯s saturated telecom market. In this regard, this month¡¯s Korean Insight newsletter has included special feature articles on how each of the Telcos is now actively propelling its own survival strategies. After all, the share prices of SKT, KT, and LG U+ have stayed pretty much in the same place or have plummeted down for the last few years. It will be interesting in this context to examine how they have each been trying to find their way out of this saturated telecom market.
I am afraid the intro has gotten a bit long, but I hope you enjoy the newsletter, and that you will be able to gain new insights from it. As for myself, I have recently taken a great interest in online gaming and Korea¡¯s gaming industry. My plan is to publish a special edition of the newsletter on gaming soon (yes, it will be sent to you), and going further, to publish a website or blog on Korean online games if possible. Meanwhile, please follow me on Twitter (@koreaninsight, @koreagameportal) as I frequently update new information on them. Thank you, and enjoy the newsletter!