|'Again IT Korea' Pushed by Telematics
By Cho Young-joo, chairman of Korea Telematics Business Association It is a good season for travel with family members or friends. Those who are about to take a trip need to check transportation means, road guide, beauty spots, good restaurants, local specialties or lodgings with a fine view through books or Internet before leaving. However, the problem lies in a case of failing to get proper information when they visit the local place. Telematics is a service designed to solve such inconveniences. Telematics, a compound word of telecommunication and informatics, has a meaning of offering information through communication to users at any place and anytime they want. However, it has recently developed into the service of offering such functions as traffic guidance, emergency rescue, Internet and broadcasting to drivers and passengers. In a nutshell, it is a composite art combining cars, IT infrastructure, traffic information, leisure and entertainment. The telematics service was introduced in 2001 for the first time in Korea. Although mobile communication companies and automakers have tried to activate the telematics service, the number of users has reached at a mere 500,000, poorer than the earlier expectation. In my opinion, the biggest reasons behind the poor performance are absence of attractive services to attract drivers, expensive terminal price and fees for use. However, Korea is equipped with best conditions for implementing the telematics service such as advanced telecommunication networks, a large number of automobiles, and high density of cars, In addition, Koreans with high level of IT informatization are ready to actively accept new technology and services carrying new conception. In particular, as such next-generation wireless networks as digital mobile broadcasting (DMB), super speed wireless Internet WiBro, and high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) made market debut this year, the year 2006 could be the first year to activate the telematics business in earnest. Fortunately, in keeping with this trend, the terrestrial DMB-based TPEG (Transport Protocol Expert Group) service that enables users to search information on locations and others in real time was developed. In addition, the voice recognition and voice synthesis service useful for driving, the RFID-linked car management control service, the home network service and the medical service have been introduced continuously. From May, the Jeju telematics model city project will be commercialized and the telematics terminal service that tells drivers running speed and traveling distance will be legalized from the latter half through consultations between relevant governmental ministries. At a time when such bottlenecks to activating the telematics service have gradually disappeared, we should prepare several matters. Firstly, we should create a success model of the telematices service based on various attempts and efforts we have so far made. To this end, we should reestablish business models suitable or each of automobiles, broadcasting, communication and IT manufacturing companies. Owing to essential characteristics of convergence, the debut of new service accompanies change and cooperation with other sectors, regardless of whether it has an intention or not. In the process, "blue ocean," or new demand and value added in the niche market occur unexpectedly. If we find out new markets, produce profit models with high growth potential and generate synergy effects through close cooperation between businesses, the telematics industry will bear fruits. Now, the telematics industry stands at a new starting point toward the best services for consumers and market. It goes without saying that cars in the future society will be equipped with more developed artificial intelligence and the telematics combining voice recognition and communication will be generalized with more polished appearance. We should bear in mind that the road to the success of telematics, which will lead the era of u-IT839 is to make a foundation though which all players, including cars, broadcasting, contents, communication, and IT manufacturing companies, can generate synergy effects fully. I hope that the telematics industry, which realizes the car of one's dreams, will upgrade the status of IT Korea once again in the global market.
New business opportunities and development possibilities Telematics is a terminology combining Telecommunication and Informatics. In other words, it means "Multimedia service for vehicles," which provides vehicle drivers with traffic guidance, emergency information by using location information & wireless communication network and offers Infortainment services such as Internet, movie, game to passengers. Accordingly, when the full potential of telematics service is realized, it will transform autos, following offices and households through wire/wireless communication as well as broadcasting networks. Seamlessly in cars too, telematics comes to provide car drivers with services which are used in households and offices by connecting with home networks and office automation through a different kind of communication, broadcasting network and intelligent-model terminal. One of the several reasons telematics attracts attention recently in Korea, is because a new concept of value-added service to be able to maximize synergy effects can be created as global level' auto industry and IT industry, different industries to complement each other, are converged. In particular, Korea is assessed to hold a very favorable condition for activating telematics service thanks to high mobile communication service use rate, Internet spread rate as well as car popularization rate. Moreover, experts note that telematics can offer new marketing opportunities and profit through auto industry's competitiveness strengthening and expect that it could provide mobile communication business provider reaching to growth stagnation state now with new business opportunity as well as development possibilities. Korea's Ministry of Information & Communication (MIC) has already announced the uIT839 strategy as part of its policies to accomplish the national income $20,000 era. The telematics industry is one of these strategies and telematics industry's development possibility and its potential market scale are becoming a national goal. At present, Korea's telematics market is in a stage, in which infrastructure building is being completed and it is preparing its leap. As is generally known, the telematics industry is a convergence industry, which is comprised of diverse industries such as the car industry and communication industry and so on. It means that with any one field's efforts alone, the telematics industry cannot develop. Designing systems as well as networks, producing beneficial contents, developing terminals, and manufacturing cars all are parts, which cannot be neglected in the telematics industry. As at the moment, several products like cellular phone-based telematics, PDA navigator, terminals for vehicles as well as security driving facilitators are being marketed., a foundation where the domestic telematics industry can grow in Korea is currently being constructed. From the mid-to longterm perspective, database as well as service standardization, information infra's construction are surely necessary to nurture markets and for the maximum attraction of investment. As to activities related to a law, unmanned control cameras and security driving services associated with GPS terminals which communicates accidentprone areas in advance can be mentioned. In addition, in conjunction with LBS, the core technology as well as content of telematics service, a law regarding location information's protection & movement was promulgated as of Jan. 27, 2005 by passing the National Assembly's review. Due to this, providing an individual faced with an accident requests a help to a public rescue institution, this rescue institution has come to receive this individual's location information. However, since a new wave is forecasted in connection with individual's location information as well as privacy in the case of this law, careful regulation will be necessary.
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