20091222

Korea : Onse Telecom wants to be a MVNO

Onse Telecom announced its intention to become a MVNO by 2011, lobbying the National Assembly to pass the law obliging 3 incumbents to open their networks.

The landline operator boasted it could claim 5% of the market (about 2M customers), thanks to lower rates and "differentiating" offers.

I guess Onse execs are more interested in "diversification" than "differenciation" : VoIP is bound to hit seriously their core business in Korea (international voice services - ie Shinbiro calling cards), and all 3 incumbents are also integrated fixed-mobile players, only bigger : LG Telecom is about to follow SK and KT and to merge all its telecom units.

Differenciation through creative marketing ? Don't expect support from the new mother company : Taihan Electric Wire is into wires, fibers, powerlines... Onse itself delivers equipments and systems, even if it stopped its terminal manufacturing activity last year.

Onse Telecom is expected to post profits in 2009, but that will be a premiere after an eight year losing streak. Lately, they've mostly been converting third bonds with warrants into shares...

So the message is not "Onse Telecom wants to be a MVNO" as much as "if you want to become a MVNO in Korea, Onse Telecom can help you face the big guys." Of course they could leverage on their customer base, but they also enjoy a certain technical know-how, and the experience of interfacing with different network operators. So they could position themselves as the ideal MVNE, starting with themselves as the first customer.

mot-bile 2009



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