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Korea Telcos door is a .jar?

Korea Telcos door is a .jar?
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This afternoon I had lunch with Seunghoon Lee, VP of mobile internet
at SK Telecom (SKT). He demo'd a slightly differnet version of Mobile
TV which is actually picking up broadcaster channels via DMB and also gave me a pass to the exhibit.

We met previously at the the Koreacomm conference where, to some
degree, he put the rest of us to shame with a more practical
understanding of the impact of 10 years of innovation in the mobile
internet looked like on a business. Whilst the rest of us discussed
the possibility of a concept such as 'Web 3.0', Seunghoon trumped us
all on what 'Mobile 3.0' actually meant to SK Telecom.

What did it mean to them? Well clearly it meant a lot more money. In
2007 their mobile internet business models had generated around 10% of
SK Telecoms entire turnover. A snip at $770M.

Seunghoon put mobile social networking, or 'Mososo', at the heart of
their growth with 150K daily users of the mobile extension of Cyworld.
All billed via flat rate data plan of $25.

Mobile Cyworld's success was largely down to the success of Cyworld's
hugely popular web portal that Seunghoon had previously worked on.
With this in mind SKT realised there was plenty of incentive to open
it's doors to the international development community, work with
international operators and drop their proprietary codebase (WIPI) in
favour of a international standards based approach. Further incentive
was provided by the impact if the iPhone on users' expectations of
high end phone GUIs (incidentally the iPhone actually has not made it
out here and yet is still causing quite a stir) and the imminent
arrival of the Android platform. Google's recent acquisition of Chang
Kim's company Tatter, added some immediacy, as it suggests that Google
has it's eye on the South Korean market.

Seunghoon's vision for SKT was to walk this road to openness. What
this means for developers and businesses is a new less restricted
access to the Korean mobile market. The transition is underway with a
roadmap in place to allow developers to build widgets and apps for SKT
users via the Windows mobile platform. If you want to jump the queue,
you'd still need to develop in WIPI, which he suspected only Chinese
companies might consider adopting. Nonetheless, SKT are encouraging
developers to build non-native apps which could up for purchase via
their native NATE portal app. So to generate success in the Korean
market may no longer be about being acquired by the umbrella Telcos
anymore. Dare I say, the door to the garden could now be ever so
slightly ajar?

Posted by jc1000000

6th Nov 2008, 17:27  


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