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


South Korea has transformed its economy to one that is more progressively knowledge based. It has invested significantly in telecommunications infrastructure over past decades.

South Korea is ranked 2nd out of 34 with an Asian Telecoms Maturity Index score of 93. (BuddeComm’s “Asian Telecoms Maturity Index”, is an index (on a scale between 0 and 100) that measures and ranks the relative maturity of the telecoms industry in all of the 34 countries in Asia.) Compared to other Asian nations, South Korea has very high mobile and mobile broadband penetration and very high fixed broadband penetration.

Fixed lines in South Korea have been gradually declining over the past five years. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2023.

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’.

Huawei has partnered with LG U+. for the launch of Seoul TechCity as part of its commitment to drive smart city efforts. The Seoul TechCity collaborative project aims to deliver smart city capabilities for the Korean capital.

This report provides an overview of the South Korean telecoms market, including key statistics and infrastructure investments.

Key Developments:

  • SK Telecom became the first South Korean mobile operator to test autonomous cars on public roads.
  • Huawei has partnered with LG U+. for the launch of Seoul TechCity.
  • Fixed lines in South Korea have been gradually declining over the past five years.

Companies covered in this report include:

KT; LG U+; SK Broadband; SK Telecom

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market Overview and Analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
    • Background
  • Regulatory environment

    • Regulatory authority
      • KCC – Overview and responsibilities
      • KCC – related laws
  • Fixed network operators

    • Overview
    • KT Corp
    • LG U+
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
      • Internet eXchange (IX)
      • National submarine cable infrastructure
    • International infrastructure
      • International submarine cable infrastructure
    • Smart infrastructure
      • IoT
      • Smart grids
      • Smart cities
      • Driverless Cars
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Country Statistics, Major Operators and Telco Authorities – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Top Level Country Statistics – 2018 (e)
  • Table 3 – KT Corp - Total fixed Voice - PSTN and VoIP lines subscribers – 1991 – 2018
  • Table 4 – KT Corp’s fixed-line subscribers (PSTN) (millions) – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 5 – KT Corp’s VoIP subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 6 – LG U+ fixed-line (PSTN and VoIP) subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1991 – 2007
  • Table 9 – International bandwidth – 1997 – 2017
  • Table 10 – Smart grid investments

List of Charts

  • Chart 4 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Northern Asia
  • Chart 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of South Korea
  • Exhibit 3 – Northern Asia - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 4 – Significant telecoms operators in South Korea
  • Exhibit 5 – Interconnection status by IX
  • Exhibit 6 – National submarine fibre optic cables overview in South Korea
  • Exhibit 7 – International submarine fibre optic cables overview in South Korea
  • Exhibit 8 – Smart grid implementation areas
  • Exhibit 9 – Phased implementation plan of Jeju Smart Grid

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