20080301

Burning gates in Korea

Seoulites are crying for the loss of the city's ancient Southern Gate : Sungnyemun, also known as Namdaemun, was burned down in arson two weeks ago. The building survived the Japanese occupation as well as the 1950s War.

Korean handset manufacturers are worrying about other another monument : the protective walls around their home market. W-CDMA is blooming across the country, and Koreans are getting used to seeing a USIM card each time they manipulate their much more valuable memory cards, but there is a lock on that one.

This month, the said lock will be partially lifted and consumers will be able to change handsets as often as they want. Provided they're from the same operator, at the beginning. Which limits the second hand market to today's leaders, especially LG (Cyon) and Samsung (AnyCall). But that's a beginning. LG Telecom, stuck to CDMA, can't take the move (no USIM there).

We're still a long way from European standards, but roaming charges are eventually about to drop. With China and Japan, as a start (KTF with its partner DoCoMo). On the fixed networks too, or so I hope : I do enjoy cutting edge home networking and VOD services but what's the point of FTTH ?



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