KT seeks growth through convergence

Melissa Chua
27 May 2011

South Korea’s Korea Telecom (KT), is aiming to generate almost half its revenue from areas outside of telecom by 2015.

The firm said in a statement that some 45% of sales would come from mobile software, cloud computing, IT, convergence and overseas business by 2015, up from 27% last year.

South Korea’s largest fixed-line and second largest wireless carrier also set a 40 trillion won ($36.3 billion) sales target for 2015, up from 25 trillion won last year.

According to Reuters, KT’s CEO and chairman Lee Suk-chae told a news conference that convergence was the key word in the current operating environment, and KT had to make investments in cloud computing, applications and content in order to achieve sustainability.

KT’s core telecoms business is facing pressure from a saturated domestic market and the country’s regulator’s proposed move to cut telecommunications tariffs to curb inflation.

KT had taken an early lead in the smartphone market when it became the first to bring Apple iPhone into Korea, but now faces challenges in the form of closest rival SK Telecom and high network costs caused by unlimited data pricing plans.

According to Joong Ang Daily, KT’s two competitors, SK Telecom and LG Uplus, also appear to be branching into non-telecoms segments. SK Telecom has been focusing on its enterprise segment while LG Uplus has adopted a new slogan: “beyond telecom.”

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