South Korea - Fixed Broadband, Digital Economy and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

South Korea has the world’s highest number of broadband services per capita. Korea’s policy emphasis has been to establish an Ultra Broadband convergence Network (UBcN) with 1Gb/s speeds on fixed lines and 10Mb/s on wireless.

Since breaking through the 10 million subscriber mark in 2002, subscriber growth has steadily increased, reaching over 20 million fixed broadband subscribers by 2016. Market penetration is predicted to continue to grow moderately over the next five years reaching over 50% by 2021, with a market penetration of 41%. Growth is being driven by an expected increase in converged solutions being offered such as IPTV and Smart Home services. Much will depend on the continuing strength of the economy in South Korea.

Internet use is widespread in South Korea with surveys even including children as young as three years of age. The internet has permeated all aspects of society and has made a significant contribution to education even at pre-school level. Internet penetration reached 91% by 2016.

This report provides an overview of South Korea’s broadband market, government initiatives and technologies including cable modem, DSL, FttH, Apartment-LAN, and WiBro. IPTV statistics are included as well as broadband forecasts to 2021 and statistics on market share of the major broadband providers.

VoIP services are becoming increasingly popular as operators bundle services in a bid to stop the decline in ARPU. The operators continue to invest heavily in fibre based broadband deployments and IPTV subscriptions have passed the 5 million mark as more content is available and the operators are able to compete more effectively with live broadcasts.

The widespread adoption of the Internet in South Korea coupled with the continued pace of development has resulted in an exciting digital economy. This report also looks at various aspects of the digital economy in South Korea that support the drive to converged services. It includes information on e-commerce users, e-banking and e-government. It also contains information on internet usage patterns.

Key Developments:

  • Three operators hold over 80% of the Korean broadband market: KT, SK Broadband and LGU+.
  • KT as the incumbent has held on to its dominant market share position.
  • South Korea’s broadband subscriber base continues to rise. The move towards faster speeds and becoming full-service operators is expected to further drive this trend.
  • FttX deployments have increased as operators try to gain customers through bundled services such as high-definition IPTV.
  • Market penetration is predicted to continue to grow moderately over the next five years reaching between 50% and 65% by 2021.
  • Growth is being driven by an expected increase in converged solutions being offered such as IPTV and Smart Home services.

Companies covered in this report include:

SK Broadband, KT, LG U+, Hanaro Telecom

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction and statistical overview
    • 2.1 Market Overview and analysis
    • 2.2 Broadband statistics
      • 2.2.1 Broadband subscribers by access type
      • 2.2.2 Internet users
      • 2.2.3 Internet usage patterns
      • 2.2.4 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • 3. Broadband Technologies
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Cable modem
    • 3.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
    • 3.4 Apartment LAN
    • 3.5 Fibre-to-the-Home
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Operator Statistics
    • 4.2 KT Corp
    • 4.3 SK Broadband
    • 4.4 LG U+
  • 5. Other fixed broadband services
    • 5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
      • 5.1.1 WiBro deployments and investments
  • 6. Digital economy
    • 6.1 e-Commerce
    • 6.2 e-Banking
    • 6.3 e-Government
      • 6.3.1 Next Generation e-government plan: 2008 - 2012
      • 6.3.2 E-Government Global Academy (eGGA) established in South Korea
  • 7. Digital Media
    • 7.1.1 Cable TV (CATV)
    • 7.1.2 Satellite infrastructure
      • 7.2 Videostreaming
        • 7.2.1 IPTV
      • 7.3 Communications: VoIP, messaging, conferencing
        • 7.3.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    • 8. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Fixed broadband subscriber growth and penetration rate – 1999 - 2016
    • Table 2 – Broadband internet subscriber numbers by system – 1998 - 2016
    • Table 3 – Internet users and population penetration rates – 2003 - 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet usage rates by service– 2011 – 2015
    • Table 5 – Main purpose of using the internet – 2010 – 2013; 2015
    • Table 6 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2016; 2018; 2021
    • Table 7 – Cable modem subscribers – 1999 – 2016
    • Table 8 – Broadband cable modem (HFC) subscribers by service provider – 2015
    • Table 9 – DSL subscribers – 1999 – 2016
    • Table 10 – Historical - DSL subscribers by service provider – 2015
    • Table 11 – A-LAN subscribers – 2002 - 2016
    • Table 12 – Historic - A-LAN subscribers by service provider – 2015
    • Table 13 – FttH subscribers – 2006 - 2016
    • Table 14 – Historic - FttH subscribers by service provider – 2015
    • Table 15 – Broadband subscribers – market share by operator (millions) – 2005 - 2016
    • Table 16 – Broadband market share by operator – 2005 – 2016
    • Table 17 – LG U+ broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2016
    • Table 18 – Historical - Usage of e-government services
    • Table 19 – IPTV subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2015
    • Table 20 – Historic - South Korea VoIP subscribers
    • Chart 1 – South Korea broadband subscribers and population penetration – 2006 - 2016
    • Chart 2 – Broadband subscribers by operator – 2005 - 2016
    • Exhibit 2 – SK Broadband at a glance
    • Exhibit 3 – Comparison of WiBro and mobile technologies in South Korea
    • Exhibit 4 – E-government stages: 1980s - present
    • Exhibit 5 – KOREASAT satellite status

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