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  From Editor  
 


Three years.
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!

 
 

Yours Yunho Chung
Managing Partner, Veyond Partners

YUNHO CHUNG @ LinkedIn
@ Slideshare

 
   
  Topic of the Week  

 

Beyond telecom service: SKT, KT and LGT.

 
   
 


This month¡¯s series of feature posts cover Korea¡¯s three MNOs; SK Telecom, Korea Telecom, and LG Telecom. Here is an overview of their survival strategies in approaching Korea¡¯s highly saturated telecom market and how they seek to go beyond just providing telecommunication service. Their main intention is to target the B2B market and to create a synergy effect among businesses. Each of their innovative projects is expected to open new windows to the telecommunication sector in Korea.

(1) SK Telecom¡¯s IPE Initiative

(2) KT¡¯s S.M.ART Initiative

(3) LG Telecom¡¯s Taltongsin initiative


   
  Trend and Issue  
 

Facebook and Twitter's future in Korea

SNS has already been popular in Korea with Cyworld, which has existed in Korea since 1999. Now, globally representative SNS services such Facebook and later Twitter has begun to enter the Korean market. However, Facebook had failed to be widely adopted in Korea, while the more recent emergence of Twitter has been starting to gain ground...

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iPhone versus Androids: Round 2, Korea

Once reaching up to 8000 mobile subscribers in one day in Korea, iPhone no doubt still maintains popularity since its late launch here in November 2009. However, since SKT launched its three Android phones in April, there has been a huge come back for Androids, expanding its smartphone market share by six fold up to 35.3% in Korea...

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The Politics of WiFi in Korea

Amongst the 3W mobile networks available in Korea - WCDMA, WiBro, and WiFi - WiFi had not been receiving much attention from the mobile business circles. However, since the inception of iPhone and the following smartphones...

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Yes24 is Korea¡¯s answer to eBooks

With the wave of iPad fever, eyes are on the eBook business. In Korea, competition amongst its four online ebook stores - Yes24, Interpark, Kyobo, and Aladdin - is heated up in full throttle. Currently, Yes24 holds the No.1 spot...

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  Business in Korea  
 

SK Telecom-Walt Disney Joint Hands

Why did Andy Bird, Walt Disney¡¯s chairman visit Seoul?
On May 11th, there was a joining of hands between SK Telecom, Korea¡¯s largest telecommunication operator, and Walt Disney, a world major studio. Together, they established a PP joint venture to provide content for cable TV channels as well as for other digital devices, such as mobile phones and IPTV. The partnership will provide support for SKT to gain access to Disney¡¯s content, and for Disney to provide its content on various digital platforms. As Andy Bird, the chairman of Walt Disney put it, ¡°Disney¡¯s creativity and innovative content, combined with SKT¡¯s expertise in digital media and telecommunications¡± will surely create new waves for the Korean domestic content market.

>>Read more

 
   
  More Information  
 

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