KT, the nation’s No. 2 mobile carrier, reported operating losses for 2014, Friday, for the first time in its corporate history after being hit by increased costs. In a regulatory filing to the Korea Exchange (KRX), KT said its net losses amounted to 965.5 billion won, up from a loss of 60.2 billion won in 2013. Operating losses reached 291 billion with the firm reporting 23.42 trillion won in sales last year, a drop of 1.6 percent year-on-year.
KT has teamed up with Qualcomm of the United States to jointly develop devices and equipment for creating secure gateways to the Internet of Things (IoT). “Under the agreement, Qualcomm will develop customized LTE (long-term evolution) chipsets, and KT will develop equipment and other IoT security integrated systems,” announced KT Thursday. Spokesman Kim Young-wan said that they aim to commercialize IoT security services based on LTE technology by the end of the first half of this year.
KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu pledged to show tangible results in the company’s network businesses in the global market including the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In a meeting with journalists before an event to commemorate moving into a new office building near Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, the chairman said the company will nurture cloud platforms, network systems, and media and energy sectors at home and abroad this year.
SK Telecom accused KT of offering illegal subsidies to steal customers from other mobile carriers, Thursday. “Since Jan. 21, KT has been providing huge rebates to its retail stores to lure more customers in a breach of the Telecom Law. We strongly urge KT to immediately stop this as this hurts fair market competition,” SK said in a statement. It said a local KT outlet provided up to 550,000 won for each customer who wanted to change their mobile carrier.
Samsung Electronics will release an updated Galaxy Note 4 this week with the world’s fastest tri-band LTE-A wireless technology. A tri-band LTE-A wireless network is three times faster than the current LTE-A service, with download speeds of 300Mbps; meaning just 28 seconds will be needed to download a 1 GB movie. The release comes at a time when three domestic mobile carriers are embroiled in a dispute over SK Telecom’s claim that it has succeeded in offering the tri-band LTE-A service.
Huawei’s product and solution CTO Li Sanqi revealed that the company has reached a close cooperation with three major South Korean telecom companies, SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, for the research and development of fifth-generation network services. During the closing ceremony of Startup Nations Summit 2014 held in Seoul, Li said that Huawei will work together with telecom service suppliers to develop a stable 5G network.
Alcatel-Lucent has collaborated with Korea-based telecommunication service provider KT, to drive innovation and the adoption of a comprehensive Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)-based infrastructure. The collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent forms part of KT’s efforts to evolve its Giga Network, in which NFV will underpin the development of a new architecture to increase efficiency, lower costs and increase cloud products.
LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Korea Telecom (KT) is looking to a range of converged services that make use of its network and platforms to differentiate itself from domestic rivals and drive growth. CTO Dongmyun Lee told delegates that with high bandwidth mobile broadband and unlimited data plans offered by all three operators in South Korea, this is no longer a differentiator, meaning KT is looking at other areas. “This kind of competition is beginning to weaken our cost structure so we are trying to escape from this vicious circle,” Lee said.
LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: Chang-Gyu Hwang, CEO of KT, this morning talked up the potential for operators to benefit from the growth of the internet of things (IoT) market, by evolving networks to support the new range of services and connected devices that are proliferating. “Convergence among industries will be accelerated through innovative technologies. Development of sensors, chips, the expansion of connected devices, the evolution of the mobile broadband network, cloud computing and big data analytics, these are all key drivers that will bring us to a smarter IoT era,” he observed in a keynote presentation.
With help from KT Corp, Korea’s biggest fixed-line operator, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank established an internet data center in Namhae, a city located in the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, in 2012, KT said. SoftBank could not be reached for comment. Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, is also said to be considering building a data center in Korea. This was made known when its Vice President Tom Furlong in-charge of data center operations, met Korean technology officials in December.