What’s Up In Korea This Week? [12. Jun]
6월 12, 2013

 

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KT Will Spend $2.65B Upgrading Network And Create Jobs

Remember how KT said they set up a fund of USD 132 million by 2017 to help smaller and mid-sized firms in Korea earlier on this year?

Well, according to Yonhap News yesterday, they will spend KRW 3 trillion (approximately USD 2.65 billion). KT is more ambitious than we thought.

That means that the south Korean telco is spending approximately half of the USD 5.3 billion used in 2012 by the Korea's network providers, such as SK Telecom and LG Uplus for their installation of LTE networks.

Over the next 5 years until 2018, the South Korean telco plans to upgrade its communications network funded by proceeds from its asset sales.

Also, just two months ago in April, the mobile carrier said that it plans to hire 1,000 retirees to teach IT-service related courses to youths over the next three years. It seems that it's a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

KT added it will also leverage and beef up its presnce in Southeast Asia and South American markets. Good on you, KT. It will be interesting to see how they go throughout this year!

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 10.07.36 AM

The Korean Reaction To iOS7

Apple. iOS7. What do the Koreans think?

  • "Awseome. I can send quick replies." (min****)
  • "I'm so satisfied with the new iOS7. Personally speaking, this is incredible - I'm especially excited about how it can be synchronized with the iPad2." (OwnPath******)
  • "If you have an iPhone, definitely check this out!!" (ZHACHA****)

Various IT related communities in Korea have been updating their reactions to iOS7 real-time:

  • “Wow - very nice. The iOS7 looks sexy as hell! (현대의*****)
  • “I really gotta get the new Macbook Air." (Sche****)

One of the hot issues in Korea is about the Korean language patch and also the new layout of Hangul (Korean) keypads. Looks like it's getting positive feedback from users!

  • “Incredible! I hope there will be less typos..." (phs****),
  • “With the new iOS7 and Apple services, there's definitely gonna be more Apple users in Korea." (yung*****)

However, some are disappointed in the new design:

  • “It looks like a vacuum." (diverg****)

“I wonder how the market will react to devices that look like bins or, an R2 robot. This will be interesting." (OwnPat*****)

South Korean Government Tells Telcos To Lower Fees

Mobile carriers are to lower their rates, South Korean government said. They are also to reduce costs put into marketing. This came from the Minister for Science, ICT and Future Planning - who met with the CEOs of the three telcos in Korea (KT, SK Telecom, LG Uplus) to discuss cooperation in the country.

According to Yonhap News report on Monday, the three carriers are to cooperate in cutting phone bills. This is to lift pressures from households and to 'keep a lid on' living costs.

For some time now, the government under the Park administration have been pushing for local telcos to cut down on their rates. This was a part of Park's campaign promises in December 2012 so as to ease financial burden on Korean households.

Marketing costs rose 50% on-year in Q1 2013 for the three telcos in Korea, and the minister suggested they invest in technology rather than marketing at this stage so as to aid technology development and network upgrades in Korea.

So, it look like Korea will be investing heavily on technology R&D and small firms. Great! We'll keep our eyes peeled for more news. See you next week!

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