KT awaits new rules on IPTV

Staff Writer
15 Jul 2008

Gwang-Ju Seo, KT's executive VP of the network group, says the new regulatory commission will push deregulation, which will drive costs down for end-users and create new service bundlings

The South Korean government in February set up the Broadcasting and Communications Commission, a new national regulatory authority responsible for both telecoms and broadcasting. What will be the impact of this new regulatory body on the development of the nation's telecom market‾

First of all, as an executive in the ICT sector, I expect the Commission to promote market-based policies. The deregulations by the new government, such as reducing restrictions on pricing plans of incumbent operators, will be continually progressed. And the legislation of IPTV will be also completed soon. These will eventually enlarge the communication market and extend the range of the market.

Furthermore, the KCC will promote market competition to ease the burden of consumer's communications expenses and foster the convergence of the industries as well.

What are the competitive advantages KT has over its competitors such as SK Telecom and Hanarotelecom‾

Because KT provides a full range of services, from fixed service, including PSTN and broadband, to mobile services, this puts us one step ahead of competitors in competing in the emerging converged market.

With the deregulation trend, it is now possible for KT to provide combined services like mobile and WiBro as well as broadband and IPTV.

How is KT's WiBro service progressing‾

KT has currently about 200,000 WiBro subscribers and is aiming for 400,000 subscribers by the end of 2008. To achieve this goal, KT will expand the service coverage, upgrade the service quality by adapting WAVE 2 technology, and introduce new devices to the market. In addition, we'll give customers a price cut if they choose a bundle of KT`s services such as fixed, mobile, broadband and WiBro.

KT is also offering VDSL service. Will the provisioning of WiBro cannibalize KT's VDSL offering‾ How does KT differentiate these two types of services‾

KT has positioned the Wibro and fixed broadband at customers differently. WiBro targets mobile users as well as fixed broadband at home. The mainstream technology for fixed broadband in Korea already has shifted to FTTH-based solutions, providing bandwidth of up to 100 Mbps. If the home user wants to use broadband service outdoors, he can subscribe it with Wibro. In short, it is not a substitution service but a complementary service.

KT has taken over 45% of the fixed broadband market share and has been working toward IPTV service for a couple of years. IPTV needs a broadband network to provide seamless broadcasting service. When IPTV is commercialized, the service will be a killer app for us.

Because WiBro, which is focused on mobility, can be used outdoors when users are traveling by train or subway and at public places, it will be able to expand its own market separately.

What are the key drivers for the growth of broadband services in South Korea‾ 

There are several key factors. Customers can choose from a diverse range of services they want because the Korean telecom market is highly competitive.

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