This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Korea's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:
Researchers:- Paul Kwon and Peter Evans
Current publication date:- April 2015 (21st Edition)
South Korea has one of the world’s most active telecommunications and Information Technology markets backed by strong support from the government. Spending on ICT and high-technology equipment helped lead a transformation of the economy to one that is more progressively knowledge based. Having invested significantly in ‘basic’ telecommunications infrastructure over past decades, the country now possesses well developed national and international communications infrastructure. Government involvement continues with the aim of transforming the country into a knowledge-based information society in a ‘smart-age’.
South Korea’s operators have invested heavily in fibre based broadband deployments, laying the foundations for triple play services. IPTV subscriptions have grown beyond the 10 million mark as more content is available and the operators are able to compete more effectively with their own live broadcasts. To underpin further growth, KT unveiled a new vision known as “GigaTopia” in 2014. The vision is comprised of three goals: delivering Gigabyte speeds to end users, developing an “Internet of Things (IOT)” platform and delivering convergent services such as combined WiFi and LTE-Advanced. To meet these goals KT plans to invest KRW4.5 trillion over three years.
South Korea continues to be a booming mobile market as it rapidly takes up LTE and innovatively explores the options for value-added services. The market passed the 110% penetration level with many individuals carrying at least one mobile phone. 4G LTE now represents the majority of mobile connections after it was introduced in 2011. Not surprisingly, there has also been a rapid increase in mobile traffic, hinting at potential profitability challenges ahead as operators are forced to spend on upgrading network capacity while at the same time reduce tariffs in response to competition.
South Korea has the world’s highest number of broadband services per capita. Into 2015 approximately 40% of the population and around 95% of households were broadband subscribers. Over 60% of broadband subscribers used FttH or Apartment LANs, with the remainder accessing predominantly cable. KT unveiled plans to increase access speeds to 1Gb/s as part of its GigaTopia strategy, triggering a potential round of infrastructure upgrades as competitors spend on CAPEX to keep pace. The move by KT fulfils Korea’s UBcN (Ultra Broadband convergence Network) strategy, which aims for 1Gb/s speeds on fixed lines.
The drive towards a ‘new economy’ has seen significant investments in the Internet of Things (IOT) including Smart Grids and Smart Cities. The major operators successfully utilised LTE introduction to grow revenue by upselling ARPU. However with LTE penetration approaching maturity levels, the major operators are increasingly looking towards the IOT as the next major revenue growth driver.
I think you are a treasure to the industry and we are all lucky to have you. You are so generous with your energy, time and knowledge.
Ken Cregan, Tele-Computercations Pty Ltd
BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.
For more details, please see:
Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.