20061030

Pervasive Korea in US, China, Vietnam...

SK Telecom seems to speed up its internationalization process, more than doubling its subscriber base in Vietnam within one year to reach the 1M mark and targeting 4M by the end of 2008, which would at last sound like a significant position overseas.
But investors tend to be more impressed by less spectacular moves on more demanding markets and Helio doesn't seem to claim many customers in the US. Yet, SKT's UI, T-PAK, is coming up on some Motorola handsets soon. And NATE just locked interesting deals on mobile search engines with Google, and on telematics and in-car entertainment with GM Daewoo cars (TTM 2008) : telematics through NATE Drive, movies through Cizle, music through MelOn... Korea's leading cellco is eventually leveraging on its Jeju Telematics trials*.
Middleware, content and enablers are a surer bet than airwaves, even if Korea Inc keeps pushing its own technos : strong presence during the 2006 China Int’l DAB/DMB Forum & Expo in Beijing, recent deal clinched on WiBro in the US**...
Airwaves do cross the seas, but the other way : W-CDMA / HSDPA were already gaining momentum thanks to SKT and KTF, and now LG Telecom announces GSM-enabled phones by the end of the year. Of course, LGT will invest KRW 400 bn in EV-DO rA over 3 years (including 170 BS in Seoul), but only 15 will be spent by the end of 2006 instead of the 40 planned earlier.


* see "
Jeju Telematics celebrates the wedding of GPS and DMB" (20060510)
** Neupara from Columbia, MD (neupara.com), chose POSDATA for its 2.3GHz WiBro trial in the US. Posco's subsidiary joins Samsung in the US market and Neupara keeps pushing Korean technologies after T-DMB in India. Its CEO, Mr John J. Shin, happens to be a Korean-American.



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