IPTV wars and WiBro truce ?

The Korean telecom regulator awarded IPTV licenses to KT (mega TV), Hanarotelecom (HanaTV), and LG Dacom (myLGTV). Trials start next week, and negociations with broadcasters are still raging.

Up to now*, the trio mostly competed on VOD exclusivities (price for myLGTV), but after an intensive summer of lobbying, they expect to propose real-time TV from major broadcasters from October on.

Korean authorities are also considering Voice over WiBro, the very day KT announced a MOU with a Japanese player.

But UQ Communications Inc is not likely to roll out WiBro : it is supposed to launch a WiMAX service next year, and recently inaugurated its first WiMAX trial base station. Besides, Intel owns part of its shares (other investors : KDDI Corporation, Kyocera, East Japan Railways, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the Bank of Tokyo, and Daiwa Securities Group).

The MOU is about finding roaming solutions at the hardware and middleware level, so that WiBro users (mainly pro users) can somehow use the same device when they travel to Japan.

Korean players making the first move, and the regulator giving a push to the techno... combined the same day, these two pieces of news don't sound that positive for WiBro

* see "
IPTV in Korea" (20080508)

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