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SK Telecom CEO vows all-out transformation to become AI leader

S. Korea’s largest telecommunications operator sets goal of W40tr market cap by 2026

Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SK Telecom, speaks to employees at a town hall meeting on Monday. (SK Telecom)
Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SK Telecom, speaks to employees at a town hall meeting on Monday. (SK Telecom)

South Korea’s largest telecommunications carrier SK Telecom will undergo a head-to-toe transformation to become a leading artificial intelligence company, the CEO said Monday.

“We will leap into SKT’s version of a distinguished AI company that combines AI with connective technologies based on our main business of telecommunications,” said SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang in a town hall meeting with employees to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

In order to upgrade the company’s AI and digital transformation capabilities, SKT said it will look for companies to invest in or take over. It added that it expects to uncover many opportunities to enhance its AI technologies, mentioning the example of X Caliber -- the country’s first commercialized veterinary image diagnostic service developed by SKT using AI technology.

Pledging to become a leading AI company, the telecom giant laid out the goal of its market capitalization reaching 40 trillion won ($28.46 billion) by 2026. SKT’s market cap was 11.3 trillion won at the closing on Monday.

SKT underlined that it will apply AI technology for the entire process, from searching for services and products to subscribing to a monthly plan and using it. SKT added that it will launch an AI media player that brings together its scattered media assets over Internet Protocol television, SK Broadband’s TV channels and T-commerce.

SKT also said it plans to improve the services of its mobile virtual assistant A., which was launched in May, to engage in more interactions with users. The telecom carrier’s metaverse platform ifland will enter the global market and introduce an in-game economic system based on cryptocurrency that can be connected to the real-life economy, according to the company.



By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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