Smartphone Overloads and Tablet Scares

Korean operators are just beginning to "enjoy" the dark side of their honeymoon with smartphones : capacity issues. This as smartphone penetration remains relatively low (about 5 M users), and data-guzzling tablets loom on very close horizon (Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPad...).

MNOs can't say they weren't warned : they've been waging a war to secure as many hotspots as possible, rolling out WiFi, Wibro, and all you can eat fiber networks to prevent data overloads.

What puzzles me is the commercial war that accelerated wireless data network saturation this summer : non existent before, unlimited data offers have taken over the country and right now, every other smartphone user subscribes to these proven networkphobic plans. Furthermore and as we saw earlier (see "VoIP over 3G, unlimited data... SK Telecom victim of the summerheat wave ?"), the ones who ignited the war were no others than the ones who risked the most : market leaders SK Telecom. Needless to say, #2 KT soon followed suit, causing #3 LG U+ (formerly LG Telecom) to join the suicical party short afterwards.

Short term vision 101 ? On the brighter side, this madness may help next gen networks bloom even earlier : Korea already targets 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps for mobile and fixed data by 2012.

mot-bile 2010

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