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KT chairman: future of telecom industry lies on virtual goods market

KT chairman: future of telecom industry lies on virtual goods market

Posted June. 27, 2013 09:47,   


KT Chairman Lee Suk-chae again spoke about "de-telecommunication." This time, he was directing towards the global telecommunication market, not towards the domestic information, communications and technology market.

At a keynote address at the Mobile Asia Expo 2013 held in Shanghai, China on Wednesday, Lee said, "Let`s focus on the virtual goods market that uses data communications instead of wired and wireless communications whose returns are diminishing." It is the first time for a Korean mobile communications firm chief to make a keynote address at the Mobile Asia Expo.

Under the theme "The Future of Mobile Communications Firms: The Economy in the Virtual Space," Lee delivered a speech for 15 minutes and emphasized that the global telecommunications industry should promptly understand the importance of virtual goods market and spearhead in creating new markets. To support his argument, he introduced Korea`s telecommunications market that has been playing a "test bed" role of the global information, communications and technology industry. Amid fast declining voice call and text message market that had been feeding the telecommunications market for decades, KT`s voice call sales also plummeted nearly 30 percent from 8.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2008 to 5.8 billion dollars last year.

Lee said there is no reason to be pessimistic, however. "Voice calls sales declined but data use sharply increased at the same time," he said. "KT subscribers use 1.9 gigabytes of wireless data on average per month, which is 250 times bigger than that of four years ago."

Lee said there will be bigger opportunities if data telecommunications are used. He implied that the non-telecommunications virtual goods market will expand explosively, where digital content including games, music and comics, and mobile applications, IT solution and e-learning are traded online. He said payments at virtual space that has grown by 1,000 times via mobile broadband are the new arena for mobile telecom service providers. "As the genuine free trade will occur online, cooperation among telecom firms is crucial," Lee said. "Efforts to create new business opportunities including finding big data by linking smartphones and clouding computers are also necessary."