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WiBro Services and Strategies in South Korea

  • Publication Date:June 2008
  • Publisher:Research on Asia
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:48

WiBro Services and Strategies in South Korea

On June 30, 2006, a commercial WiBro (Mobile WiMAX) service was launched in Korea, but due to insufficient CAPEX investment, resulting in poor service coverage and device line-up, the subscriber growth was slow, until KT started strong marketing strategies to attract subscribers in early 2007.
The two operators, KT and SKT planned to spend more than 700 billion KRW and 400 billion KRW, respectively, until 2007, and 1.2 trillion and 700 billion, respectively, until 2010. However, their actual investments are far behind the goals. KT WiBro service subscribers began to increase rapidly as KT started full-scale WiBro marketing in 2007. The subscribers increased 5,600 in April 2007 to 106,000 in December 2007. In 2008, the subscribers are increasing by about 10,000 per month.
Now, KT and SKT have decided to expand their investment from 2008, and the WiBro market is expected to grow faster. Moreover, the availability of VoIP will have a significant influence on subscriber addition. But this will take a time, as it is unlikely that VoIP will be supported in the near future due to legal and other issues in the South Korean wireless market.

In spite of the situation, the number of WiBro subscribers is expected to increase from approximately 100,000 in 2007 to 250,000 in 2008 and to more than 2,500,000 in 2011. The market revenues are also expected to increase to 65 billion KRW by 2011.

Also technology upgrades are important for the service to expand. Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea developed NoLA, which is based on LAN technology in 2007 and is developing NeMA (New Mobile Access), an upgraded version of WiBro. NoLA is a mobile Internet technology for the users who move at low speeds by walking or in the car to use Internet at 3.6GMbps, 1,000 times faster than the current 3G data communication rate. NeMA is a technology for the users who move at a high speed; at 100Mbps while moving at the maximum of 120km/h. ETRI plans to combine these two technologies. If it succeeds, the Korean market could witness next year a service that allows the users to use Internet in a moving vehicle on the highway.

However, the HSDPA camp is also developing the next generation HSDPA. HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) network which has 5.76Mbps data upload speed is being introduced. In addition LTE, which uses the next generation technologies such as OFDM and MIMO, is spreading globally.
Currently, the biggest disadvantage with WiBro service is that it fails to provide a killer application. To become a 4G mobile technology, voice support is a must for WiBro and a necessary element for competing with HSDPA and its next generation version, LTE in 3G/4G mobile market.

Who should read this report?

This report is useful for professionals and companies who are interested in WiBro (Mobile WiMAX) services and price plans, terminals and Korean WiBro market. South Korea was the first country in the world to launch WiBro services commercially, and is a leading market full of potential players and new business ideas in terms of Internet services and technologies. This research report analyzes the recent trends in South Korea, and provides useful information for benchmarking and market entry

  • Executive Summary
  • 1. WiBro Market
    • 1.1. Current Market Situation
    • 1.2. Background
  • 2. WiBro Technology
    • 2.1. What is WiBro?
    • 2.2. WiBro Technology Evolution
    • 2.3. WiBro vs. HSDPA
  • 3. Operators
    • 3.1. KT
      • 3.1.1. KT WiBro
    • 3.2. SKT
      • 3.2.1. T-Login
  • 4. Manufacturers
    • 4.1. Samsung Electronics
    • 4.2. POSDATA
    • 4.3. LG Electronics
    • 4.4. Raon Digital
    • 4.5. Other Manufacturers
  • 5. Mobile WiMAX
    • 5.1. WiBro and Mobile WiMAX
    • 5.2. Overseas Mobile WiMAX Services
  • 6. Conclusion
    • Appendix
    • List of Korean Companies
  • List of Figures
    • Figure 1 WiBro Subscriber Forecast (2007-2011)
    • Figure 2 WiBro CAPEX Investment by KT and SKT
    • Figure 3 WiBro Subscribers by KT and SKT
    • Figure 4 WiBro Revenue Forecast (in million KRW)
    • Figure 5 Wireless Internet Usage Rate
    • Figure 6 Mobile Technology Development
    • Figure 7 WiBro Service Network Structure
    • Figure 8 ETRI's Next Generation WiBro Technology Roadmap
    • Figure 9 WiBro and HSDPA Subscribers
    • Figure 10 KT WiBro Average Speed
    • Figure 11 FLYVO and POSDATA WiBro Business
  • List of Tables
    • Table 1 WiBro Services by KT and SKT
    • Table 2 KT and SKT's 2008 WiBro Expansion Plans
    • Table 3 High-speed Internet Subscribers (February 2008)
    • Table 4 WiBro Description
    • Table 5 WiBro vs. HSDPA
    • Table 6 WiBro and HSDPA Service Prices
    • Table 7 KT WiBro Application Services
    • Table 8 KT WiBro Promotional Price Plans
    • Table 9 KT WiBro Additional Price Plans
    • Table 10 KT WiBro Modems
    • Table 11 KT WiBro Phones
    • Table 12 KT WiBro Mobile PCs
    • Table 13 KT WiBro PMPs
    • Table 14 KT WiBro UICC Card
    • Table 15 T-Login WiBro Free
    • Table 16 T-Login WiBro
    • Table 17 SKT WiBro Modems
    • Table 18 G100 Specifications
    • Table 19 WiBro Notebook, X-NOTE C1
    • Table 20 EVERUN S60H Specifications
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