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Broadband 100 Times Faster Than High Speed Now Available in Korea

Broadband 100 Times Faster Than High Speed Now Available in Korea

Posted July. 08, 2005 05:19,   


A reporter from Dong-A Ilbo visited one of the first houses wired for Broadband Convergence Network service-

High-speed Internet connection and Broadband Convergence Network (BcN) are absolutely different not only speed-wise, but service-wise as well.

With the former, full-motion videos and music can be downloaded, but with BcN, the interconnectivity of TV, refrigerators and mobile phones enables each to exchange multimedia. One can log on to the Internet with TV and videophones with an Internet phone device.

Inside Choi Gyeong-mi’s (36, living in Eunpyeong-gu) house, the house the reporter visited, her TV, PC, surveillance cameras and wireless LAN telephone were all connected to Dacom BcN.

Choi logged onto a cooking course on TV not with her PC but with her TV, explaining, “Using the TV remote controller, I can find recipes and cooking videos just like I do on Internet portals.”

The surveillance cameras let her watch the inside of the house with her mobile phone or on the web.

The free-of-charge wireless LAN telephone also grabbed attention. The small phone, which looks like any other mobile phone, does not cost extra because voice signals are transmitted through BcN instead of a telecommunications network.

Additional services to be included in BcN are: local elections through TV or “T-Gov”; TV shopping services; wireless video telephone service; remote surveillance service informing a security company and the house owner of what is going in the house by using a camera to detect movements; and an intelligent robot service.

What about the Bill? -

The new pay-as-you-use pricing system for Internet usage does not mean much with the emergence of BcN.

BcN enables household electronics, telephones and TC to connect to a single Internet line, so a subscriber’s Internet usage soars. Thus the spread of BcN would require Internet vendors to develop technologies to disperse Internet data usage instead of controlling it with billing. Otherwise the service would not be valid.

High-Definition (HD) broadcasting requires a speed of 20Mbps for a single channel. Wouldn’t simultaneous TV watching at home restrict usage of other interconnected devices?

Dacom’s BcN technology team manager, Oh Myeong-soo, explained, “By maintaining an additional telecommunications line for TV channels, we made it sure that it would not affect the overall network. As for phones, they are to be connected prior to other services.”

Future Plans–

There are four pilot partners of BcN as of now: Gwang-gae-to Consortium, Korea Telecom (KT)’s Octave Consortium, the “Ubinet” Consortium of SK Telecom and Hanaro Telecom, and Cable BcN Consortium centering on Korea Cable TV’s broadcasting in Suwon.

Starting September, pilot services are to be provided to households: 2,300 households in three regions, namely Seoul, Daejeon and Daegu by KT, and 100 households in Daejeon by Hanaro Telecom. Starting in mid-2005, Cable BcN Consortium is planning to provide pilot services focusing on VoD or video on demand to 700 households in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Daegu.

The Ministry of Information and Communications is aiming at increasing the number of subscribers to two million by the end of this year.

Sang-Hoon Kim Suk-Min Hong sanhkim@donga.com smhong@donga.com