20051005

Handle with e-care - China-aware pro gaming

Still keepin' an eye on SKT's stats, and especially TU media (following Slomobile TV) : now covering 84 cities, the mobile TV service claimed 200,000 subs after almost 5 months of operation. That's about 1,400 customers a day, but this average is supposed to be 2,400 nowadays (the first 100k took 2 months and 22 days, the last 2 months and 6 days). 90 more days at this pace would bring them over 400k subs at the end of the year and I guess they can push to an average 3,500 with the high season coming but they'd need a strong 4,500 to reach their original 600,000 target.
More impressive : last summer and 5 years after launch,
e-Station (SKT's e-CRM portal) signed its 10th million customer. The service averages 160K users per day (70% being in their 20s-30s) and 16.4M acts per month (about 3 times as much as over the phone). Many MNOs would die for such figures.
For those as well : over 94% of SKT's customers are equiped with cdma2000 phones, now dubbed "2.5G"*. 84% have color screens and 52% are active Nate users. The mobile portal keeps improving and proposing new services, but the operator knows "wireless internet" is not the only field beyond voice. Hard to tell how m-finance and banking are contributing.
As far as international is concerned, I'm still expecting some juicy fruits from the SKT-Earthlink partnership, but the only news came from the MNO's professional gamers' team, T1, which drafted two Starcraft players from China. I don't know whether these hardcore gamers are ready to die for their new bosses but the mobile arena could be safer than a PC Bang : a 23 year old Briton, Darren Prior, was recently saved by his LG U8210 during a bank robbery, the handset stopping the bullet.

Welcome to Korea, the country where operators become bankers and handset manufacturers life insurers.

* still no specific statistics for EV-DO, but good news for 3G UMTS : since SKT are preparing commercial launch of HSDPA early 2006 (Nortel-LG to deliver the goods), they are pushing W-CDMA as well in the South : commercial launch this November for Jeju-do, Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do + Busan.



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