20180511

Once GPON a time in the East

SK Telecom announced their 2.5 Gbps service over GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network), 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps packages by EOY 2018.

SK Broadband already covers 40% of Korea, and targets 80% by 2020. Showcased in Pyeongchang* and at the recent Inter Korean Summit by KT, 5G shall be launched partly in March 2019 (3.5GHz and 28GHz auctioned), and nationwide in 2022. 

Don't worry about filling the pipes in a country that demands everyday faster services. The traditional mecca of extreme online gaming (MMORPG and esports) is getting addicted to blockchain and bandwidth-hungry services (MelOn HD, Amazon Prime...). If IPTV remains less popular than in France, subscriber bases keep catching up. SKT's broadband and mobile units now claim respectively 4.46M and 8.88M 'Monthly Active Users' (a 25.5% gain YOY for the latter, branded Oksusu).

SKT maintains its leadership over KT for another demanding service, A.I. assistants**: NUGU reached 3M users Q1 2018 (+9.6% YOY - 5M expected EOY), GiGa Genie 'only' 710k. And they are bound to leverage this key entry point in Korean households after the acquisitions of quantum sensing leader ID Quantique ('quantum-safe cryptography' from Switzerland), and the nation's second security service provider ADT Caps.

3M subs for NUGU, SK Telecom's A.I. assistant (presented here by plastic surgery - enhanced artificial assistants)

Anyway, SKT and KT are compelled to boost new streams of revenues: both posted small decreases in revenues following the switch to new accounting norms, and the sword of Damocles that has been threatening to strike them for 7 years might just do that: the Supreme Court confirmed that MNOs can't postpone anymore the slashing of their outrageously expensive plans.

mot-bile 2018

* see "South Cow-rea already cow-nected to 5G". Note that 77.9% of KT subscribers are already on LTE.
** according to them, people using simultaneously smartphones, fixed internet, and A.I. assistants at home will still enjoy more than 800 Mbps over GPON.



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