SK Telecom Unveils Innovative Measures to Boost Customer Benefits
SK Telecom Unveils Innovative Measures to Boost Customer Benefits
  • Korea IT Times
  • 승인 2010.07.14 10:28
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Seoul, Korea, 14 July 2010 - SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM)'s President and CEO Jung Man-Won held a press conference today to announce that the company will bring fundamental changes to the Korean telecommunication landscape with its bold offerings like unlimited data service and m-VoIP.

Jung also said that the company will work to greatly improve 3G network performance, promote early commercialization of the next-generation network named LTE (Long Term Evolution) and expand open Wi-Fi zones so as to boost wireless data usage.

Furthermore, SK Telecom will realize innovations in fixed and mobile telecommunication services by providing free fixed-line products - i.e. home phone, broadband Internet and IPTV services - to mobile customers based on the number of family members who subscribe to SK Telecom's mobile services.

As the company, Korea's no.1 mobile carrier, announces diverse new and innovative measures, the whole telecommunication industry in Korea is expected to undergo many changes in services and tariff structures. In September 2009, SK Telecom launched the pay-per-second tariff scheme for the first time in Korea.

The new tariff plans and products will be provided upon receiving approvals from the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

1. Providing Customers with Innovative Experience

A. Introducing Unlimited Data Service

Starting from August, SK Telecom will offer unlimited data service to users who subscribe to All-In-One 55 Plan, All-In-One 65 Plan, All-In-One 80 Plan, All-In-One 95 Plan and Number One Plan for the convenience of heavy data users. With the unlimited data service, customers will be able to use wireless data services via accessing mobile networks anywhere, anytime with no additional cost burden.

Unlimited data service is expected to bring fundamental changes to the wireless Internet landscape as it removes the inconvenience of searching for places with Wi-Fi connection.

Moreover, users can enjoy wireless Internet access via various digital devices besides mobile phones and use tethering service, which allows them to use mobile phones as a modem for other devices like laptops and PCs, without additional charge.

To ensure data network stability, the company decided to offer the unlimited data service to subscribers of All-In-One 55 Plan and four other higher priced plans. The unlimited data service will attract a great number of data-heavy users as some 55% of Galaxy S users have signed up for All-In-One Plans of 55, 65, 80 and 95 and Number One Plan.

 

B. Offering m-VoIP for the First Time in Korea

SK Telecom uncovered plans to launch m-VoIP, which was not offered so far due to concerns that it might act as a disincentive to carriers to make investments and hinder industrial development.

Jung said that he decided to introduce m-VoIP after an extensive review of the technological environment, customers' data usage patterns and cases of foreign companies. Rather than having a negative effect on its balance sheet, he expects m-VoIP to deliver greater customer satisfaction and thus have a positive effect on customer retention.

To secure data network stability, the company will first offer m-VoIP to customers who sign up for All-In-One Plans of 55, 65, 80 and 95 and Number One Plan, and the details of available data capacity and call times are as follows:

Plans

Available Data for m-VoIP

Available Call Time for m-VOIP

All-In-One 55

200 MB

1,000 Minutes (16 Hours)

All-In-One 65

300 MB

1,500 Minutes (25 Hours)

All-In-One 80

500 MB

2,500 Minutes (41 Hours)

All-In-One 95

700 MB

3,500 Minutes (58 Hours)

Number One

700MB

3,500 Minutes (58 Hours)

2. Significantly Improving Wireless Network Performance

A. Upgrading 3G Network Performance

SK Telecom plans to improve its 3G network performance and expand the overall network capacity, lack of which has been a constraint to offering unlimited data services and m-VoIP.

Starting from October, it will offer significantly expanded network capacity through utilizing the bandwidth which was additionally allocated by KCC last May, and also plans to improve its 3G network performance by launching HSPA+ Network for the first time in Korea in the Seoul Metropolitan Area from this month after opening HSUPA services in 59 cities around Korea in May 2010.

* HSDPA: Maximum upload speed: 384 Kbps/ Maximum download speed: 14.4Mbps

HSUPA: Maximum upload speed: 5.76 Mbps/ Maximum download speed: 14.4 Mbps

HSPA+: Maximum upload speed: 5.76 Mbps/ Maximum download speed: 21 Mbps

Moreover, within this year, the company will apply 6 Sector Solution to respond to the increasing need for data uses and to enhance efficiency in using frequency so as to guarantee stable data traffic.

* 6 Sector Solution: Technology that doubles base station capacity. At present 3 Sector Solution is being applied to each base station.

Jung said that these efforts will result in a new level of network sophistication, thereby further strengthening the company's competitive edge in mobile networks, the superiority of which have already been proven by call quality evaluations conducted by KCC.

SK Telecom will also adopt a network risk management system to prevent a drop in call quality that have been experienced by some overseas carriers after introducing unlimited data plans. In case data networks become overloaded due to heavy data users, the system automatically controls the Quality of Service (QoS) - limiting the use of services that have a huge impact on the networks - of the heavy users to secure stable use of all customers.

B. Commercializing the Next-Generation Network, LTE

Jung also revealed the company's plan to build next-generation networks in order to proactively respond to customers' rising need for high-speed data service.

SK Telecom decided to commercialize LTE, the 4th Generation network, in an early manner. It will provide commercial LTE services in Seoul in 2011 and plans to expand the service to the Seoul Metropolitan Area and 6 Metropolitan Cities in 2012 and guarantees a nationwide coverage by 2013.

* LTE: Maximum upload speed: 43 Mbps / Maximum download speed: 86 Mbps

To this end, SK Telecom plans to launch 'data modem handsets' in 2011 and '2-Chip handsets' - i.e. devices compatible for both 3G and LTE - in 2012.

The company said it successfully conducted LTE field test and secured enough technological capabilities for the commercialization of LTE.

C. Setting-Up More Open 'T Wi-Fi Zones' Than Planned

SK Telecom said it will create 15,000 'T Wi-Fi Zones' by the end of 2010, which is 50% more than its goal set at the beginning of this year.

SK Telecom began setting up 'T Wi-Fi Zones' with the aim to boost wireless data usage and as of June 2010, it created 5,000 'T Wi-Fi Zones'. The company said it would probably surpass its original target of 10,000 'T Wi-Fi Zones' by September.

Its principle is to launch Wi-Fi zones in areas with the greatest need for wireless Internet and largest floating population. Also the company's idea is to build it in the concept of zones rather than spots so as to support mobility.

'T Wi-Fi Zones' are being expanded to cover Lotteria outlets, restaurants operated by CJ Foodville, and coffee shops let alone cultural facilities like movie theaters, baseball parks and shopping malls.

Moreover, SK Telecom will set up 'T Wi-Fi Streets' in university areas like Shinchon, Myeongdong and Hongdae. It already launched 'T Wi-Fi Street's in Seoul Plaza, Cheonggae Plaza, Gwanghwa-mun Square, Bongeun Temple, Banpo area and Dongseong-no in Daegu. The company will also create 5,000 'Mobile Wi-Fi Zones' to allow customers to enjoy Wi-Fi access while on the move in buses and subway trains.

3. Launching New Bundled Products for Each Household Unit - Provide free fixed-line products based on the number of mobile lines

SK Telecom is also launching new bundled products that offer SK Broadband's fixed-line products for free to families based on the number of mobile lines they use.

The company introduced Family Discount Plan in April 2008 and at present 5.2 million customers are receiving discounts on basic fee and call charges. Recently, SK Telecom decided to launch new bundled products for families to meet customers' needs.

The new bundled products offer free fixed-line products- i.e. home phone, broadband Internet and IPTV services - to mobile customers based on the number of family members who subscribe to SK Telecom's mobile services.

To sign up, customers simply need to get a family relation certificate and visit SK Telecom's authorized retail stores. The above benefits apply to customers who are new to SK Broadband and to those whose existing contract with SK Broadband expires.

Furthermore, users who signed up for the Family Discount Plan can choose from either its original benefits - 10-50% of discount on basic fee and free call minutes among family members- or a free fixed-line product.

4. Creating New Value in the Global B2B Market and Enhancing Productivity of SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises)

 

SK Telecom said it will create new value in the B2B market of both home and abroad based on its differentiated capabilities in platform and solutions.

To this end, the company plans to operate an innovative task force consisted of in-house and outside experts to focus on the development of new products while establishing the "Open Innovation Center," to promote innovation and coexistence.

Jung Man-Won, President and CEO of SK Telecom said, "Under the strategies of openness, proliferation and coexistence set in the beginning of this year, SK Telecom made these innovative decisions taking into consideration the changes in the telecommunication landscape such as rising number of smartphone users. By innovating fixed and mobile services, SK Telecom will play its due role as the nation's top mobile carrier to fuel competition among operators to offer services that deliver greater customer benefits."



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