20060717

RFID shopping and 3G shutting

RFID interactivity starts showing in various shops across Korea. Your mobile phone remains quiet but that shouldn't last long. Major retailers prefer developping their own screens to enhance customer experience : as soon as the shopper picks a product on the shelf, a screen nearby displays more information about it. Just a few items enjoy this feature for the moment but that could be a blessing - you don't want everybody around hearing about the performance of the hemorrhoid treatment you just discretely dropped in your caddy.

Can things possibly go worse for LG Telecom Inc ? The Korean cellco will lose its 3G cdma2000 license, about $300M (the part of the license fee they already paid) + $100 M in fines, and finally its CEO. From the start, LGT was doomed for being Korea's only non-W-CDMA 3G license holder*. More bad news for Doc Jacobs in Qualcomm's former Kingdom...

Things can definitely go bad in Korea : VK loses everything and one should expect more bankrupcies among Korea's small to medium sized handset manufacturers. Samsung looks untouchable as it becomes China's most recognized foreign brand, but profits start shrinking, and not only because of a stronger Korean Won.


* by the way, while launching 3G+, SKT started talking about HSUPA and released their Q1 2006 key figures... starting with a T1 figure : TU Media claimed 534,000 S-DMB subs end of April 2006 (1.2M expected end of year). We'd like to see the end of Q2 stats and the impact of subsidies... Note that
GXG joined MelOn and cyworld as a key PR tool for the new King of Content... who doesn't deliver any data yet for his 3D game portal though... MelOn's 5M subs and mobile cyworld 286,000 active users brought respectively KRW 16 bn and 13 bn in revenues over Q106 ; the equivalent of 0.63% and 0.51% of SKT's overall revenues. But the recent deal between SK Communications and T-Online should boost cyworld across Europe... soon on a T-Mobile phone near you ?



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