South Korea - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

South Korea has transformed its economy to one that is more progressively knowledge based. Having invested significantly in ‘basic’ telecommunications infrastructure over past decades, the country has well developed submarine cable and satellite infrastructure as well as solid internet resources to support the growing demand for national and international communications. This report considers those aspects of infrastructure investments.

South Korea has one of the world’s most active telecommunications and Information Technology (IT) markets backed by strong support from the government. As well as the commitment of the government, the sector is boosted by an innovative private sector and a technologically savvy population. Spending on ICT and high-technology equipment helped lead a transformation of the economy. The government aims to transform the country into a knowledge-based information society in a ‘smart-age’.

By 2017, KT was still the largest telephone and fixed-line company. With declining revenues from its fixed-line services, the company has forged ahead with IPTV and LTE. Competition with LG U+ and SK Broadband had intensified on many fronts ranging from IPTV to VoIP. In order to maintain market share it had become an imperative for KT to offer bundled solutions and therefore ramp up its VoIP capabilities.

After some restructuring amongst the major operators in 2009, the fixed-line telephone market in South Korea continues to be dominated by the incumbent KT.

This report provides an overview of the South Korean telecoms market, including key statistics and infrastructure investments. Forecasts for fixed-line subscribers are included to 2018.

Key Developments:

  • ISK Telecom (SKT) signed a contract with Samsung Electronics for the deployment the world’s first commercial Internet of Things (IoT)-dedicated nationwide LoRaWAN network.
  • SK Telecom worked with Ericsson and Sony Mobile to trial the use of IoT wearables over LTE networks.
  • KT and Nokia Networks launched the first IoT lab in South Korea.

Companies covered in this report include:

KT; LG U+; SK Broadband; SK Telecom

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
    • 3.1 Background
    • 3.2 South Korea’s economy
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market Overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historic overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.1 KCC – Overview and responsibilities
      • 5.2.2 KCC – related laws
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 KT Corp
    • 6.2 LG U+
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 7.1.1 Internet eXchange (IX)
      • 7.1.2 National submarine cable infrastructure
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 International submarine cable infrastructure
    • 7.3 Smart infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 M2M/IoT
      • 7.3.2 Smart grids
      • 7.3.3 Smart cities
      • 7.3.4 Connected / Smart homes
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics South Korea – 2016
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2016
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2016
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2016
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – KT Corp - Total Voice- PSTN and VoIP lines subscribers and teledensity – 1991 – 2016
  • Table 8 – KT Corp’s fixed-line subscribers (PSTN) and market share – 2004 - 2016
  • Table 9 – KT Corp’s VoIP subscribers – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 10 – LG Telecom fixed-line (PSTN and VoIP) subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Fixed lines and teledensity – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Historical Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1991 – 2011
  • Table 13 – International bandwidth – 1997 - 2017
  • Table 14 – Smart grid investments
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines and teledensity – 2012 - 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of South Korea
  • Exhibit 2 – Significant telecoms operators in South Korea
  • Exhibit 3 – KT at a glance
  • Exhibit 4 – Interconnection status by IX
  • Exhibit 5 – National submarine fibre optic cables overview in South Korea
  • Exhibit 6 – International submarine fibre optic cables overview in South Korea
  • Exhibit 7 – Smart grid implementation areas
  • Exhibit 8 – Phased implementation plan of Jeju Smart Grid

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