Three major international events on information and communications will soon be held at the same place and time during the month of June. The events will bring information and communications-related ministers, business leaders, and broadcasters from various countries together in Seoul.
The Korea IT Times has recently asked Song Do-kyun, vice chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, to give his views about these upcoming events - the World IC Summit, the Korea Communications Conference, and the World IT Show (WIS). The World IC Summit will be held on June 17; the Korea Communications Conference on June 17 and 18; and the WIS from June 17 to 20 - all at COEX. Mr. Song elaborated on what significance the events will have for the readers of the Korea IT Times and what will be presented during the events.
The Korea Communications Commission is a government agency dedicated to positively responding to the convergence of information and communications, ensuring the freedom and public interest of broadcasting, seeking balanced development of information and communications, and enhancing the international competitiveness of the country's IC industry.
Korea Communications Commission Hosts World IC Summit
Q: It is very meaningful for Korea to host the World IC Summit and the Korea Communications Conference at the same time in a situation where a new paradigm - convergence of information and communications - is being introduced. What are the purposes of these two events
A: The World IC Summit, the Korea Communications Conference, and the WIS will give us an opportunity to promote international cooperation in the convergence industry to facilitate the spread of WiBro, IPTV and DMB. They will also contribute to building a worldwide WiBro belt through international cooperation with nations in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
We'll make the most of these events as an opportunity to conduct business diplomacy to publicize Korea's IC sector and its Low Carbon, Green Growth policy by displaying and demonstrating the use of Korea's cutting-edge IC equipment. We'll also enhance the country's status as a global IC power by taking the lead in setting the direction of the IC convergence industry as a host country of the World IC Summit.
The Commission is therefore going to strengthen international cooperation and take the international initiative to select a policy agenda with which we can present policy visions in the IC sector, while giving positive support to IC firms to advance into overseas markets.
Q: Both the World IC Summit and the Korea Communications Conference have a common theme of convergence. What is the message you want to convey through the theme
A: Since it first hosted the World ICT Summit in 2005, Korea hosted the annual event every year to support Korean firms to advance into the overseas market and take the international initiative in this regard. But in 2008 when the Commission was launched, the country decided to change the name of the event to the World IC Summit to set forth the vision and direction to suit the changing environment of IC convergence.
Themes of the annual IC ministerial conferences show how hard we have been thinking of a desirable information society. The theme of this year's ministerial conference is Creating New Opportunities through Convergence, which reflects the Commission's strong will to accept and positively respond to the new environment, considering IC Convergence a new opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Korea Communications Conference has been held since 2005 also as an annual event under the combined themes of convergence, media and content. This year's theme is Media Convergence and After. The Commission expects that there will be intensive discussions on the future strategies and visions of the government and enterprises through the conference, believing that the year 2009 is an important time for setting a direction for the IC sector amid the rapidly changing convergence environment.
We're going to host the World IC Summit and the Korea Communications Conference at the same place and time under the theme Convergence. This is the expression of the Commission's strong will to help overcome the current economic difficulties through IC convergence.
Q: Which countries' ministers are coming to the World IC Summit And what would you like to achieve through this summit
A: Ministers from those countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, with which Korea can cooperate jointly in the IC sector, are attending this year's conference. I believe that at the conference, Korea can enhance its status by taking the initiative to set policy directions for the IC convergence industry.
We're going to discuss what the Commission and Korean firms can do for the countries concerned in the IC sector through plenary sessions and bilateral talks. Through such meetings, we'll further step up international cooperation in the IC convergence industry, including WiBro, IPTV, and DMB.
Q: Which countries' delegates are attending the Korea Communications Conference And what is the difference, if any, between this conference and others
A: The Korea Communications Conference consists of a keynote lecture, special lectures, and general lectures to be given by 55 speakers from 12 countries, including executives from Time Warner, Disney, Fox TV, NHK, BBC, France Telecom, and PCCW.
Suffering from the economic recession this year, many businesspeople are looking for new business opportunities and business models. Unlike other conferences, the Korea Communications Conference is made up of sessions mostly for industrialists and market players who are their own firms' policymakers. These participants will introduce strategies of leading world enterprises.
At this conference, visitors and participants alike will have the opportunities to hear about policies on how to be competitive in the era of convergence, visions for the success of digital content, and new business strategies under the new environment of IT convergence.
I ask the public to support the World IC Summit and the two other events to be held at COEX between June 17 and 20.
What to Expect
Mouse clicks will focus on Korea for four days as the world's biggest IT conference and government ministerial meetings are around corner in the land of new IT. For the conference and meetings which start from June 17, high ranking officials and experts from business circles will come to Seoul, capital of the land of new IT. They will share views on the future of new technologies in information and communication.
In the ministerial-level meetings on June 17, high ranking IT policymakers from 15 countries will talk on the theme of Creating New Opportunities through Convergence. They will discuss the convergence which has been taking place in the ICT industry. As is well known, convergence is a major issue not only for suppliers but also for consumers. Speakers from countries are likely to focus their debate on what convergence is being made in the Korean market where new technologies are very welcome by consumers.
In Korea, crossover between ICT technologies is common. Wireless and wired Internet services are creating new demand from consumers. WiBro is one example case. It is wireless Internet connecting users while they are on the move. In the subway, they can access the Internet to watch the English Premier League live. They can even chat with buddies on top of a mountain thanks to the wireless access points installed at the peaks.
Korean DMB combines mobile phone with television. It enables DMB owners to perform a double job, talking on the phone and watching TV programs. It is easy to find people watching news on their cellular phones on the bus, subway and on the road. They wait for friends in cafes watching not only TV dramas but also foreign language lessons. Korean consumers no longer look for one-source one-use devices. They overwhelmingly prefer one-source multi-use gadgets.
This has created new markets for content producers and device manufacturers. As the demands for content that is aired on mobile devices grow, content markets expand their territories. TV stations signed agreements with mobile service providers because they have content while mobile providers have networks. This is, so to speak, a win-win strategy.
Furthermore, convergence forces the mobile device manufacturers to upgrade the functions of the devices such as memory chips and LED viewers. Displays have changed a lot to meet the needs of mobile Internet suppliers.
Participants in the meetings will evaluate the present and the future of convergence based on what is happening in Korea, a test market for the world. They will also discuss cooperation among the developed and developing countries in communication and information technologies to narrow the gap in services and technologies.
Experts see that the world should be connected in services beyond geographical barriers. To do so, it is essential to narrow the gap. They will discuss how to share technologies and services. Some countries will ask Korea to invest in them in order to not fall behind in the ICT field. Some agreements are expected to be signed during the meetings.
On the next day, an international broadcasting and telecommunication conference will take place under the theme of Media Convergence and After. Experts and scholars will participate in 12 sessions and share opinions on how convergence brings new changes not only to industries but also to the lives of the people who can be easily exposed to it. In Korea, the line that separates television and telecommunication has disappeared in the turmoil of convergence as a result of technological advances in ICT. Network providers enter drama and movie markets as they can air dramas and movies through their networks. As a result, broadcasting industries are worried that their markets would be eroded by network providers.
Experts from network providers will urge broadcasting stations to open their doors while experts from the broadcasting stations will demand the government protect the content markets. Some will suggest ways to bridge the gap between the two sides.
They will also tackle the roles of the government to mediate between rivals. In order to lessen the conflict expected to happen, the government should come up with new policies in the age of convergence. It is recommended that the government should do its best to create new markets by reducing regulations on one hand and coordinating rivals to meet the needs of consumers on the other hand.
Working-level discussions will draw attention from related industries. Almost all leading companies such as KT Group, SK Telecom, and LG Telecom will join the meetings to collect information. For these discussions, world famous CEOs and experts will fly to Seoul.
Visitors should pay special attention to three different sections. The first is on how to secure superiority in the age of convergence. The second is on a vision and strategy for success in digital content. The last is on how to make a profit in business in the new environment.
Anyone can have fun on June 17 and 18 as the World IT Show opens. The show will exhibit various kinds of ICT products ranging from cutting-edge mobile phones to new computer designs. It will be a showcase in which visitors can see the changes of technologies in ICT fields. A huge number of companies will present products and technologies. Ministers and experts will look around to learn how much Korea has developed in ICT at the show.
In mobile phone sections, Samsung, LG and other companies will attract visitors by presenting new models prior to official debut in markets. Convergence will be a major theme in the sections. Flexible mobile phones and Internet mobile phones are expected to be there.
In IPTV sections, televisions will show that they are no longer traditional ones in that they are not only television but also computer in the living room. This means that the concept of com-television has appeared.
The Korea Economic Daily, a host of the show, expects that more than five hundred companies will buy tickets for booths. The World IT Show was designed to promote the Korean ICT industries and to represent the level of Korean industries to the world.
The organizers expect that foreign buyers will come to the show to find new technologies and partners for new business. There will be meetings arranged for foreigners and domestic companies so that they can launch some joint-ventures. And contracts will be made among them as export consultation meeting is to be held during the show.
For ticket buyers, the hosts will present a lot of events to draw more visitors. They will give cutting-edge products to those who are selected from the lottery events. Parents and children are expected to come during the two day show. People can have a chance to take a quick look at what is going on in ICT field which changes at the fastest speed ever shown in industries.