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KT, NHN to join hands for Wi-Fi ad

Korea’s telecom titan KT Corp. and NHN Corp., the operator of Korea’s most-visited Web search engine, will set up a joint venture next month to offer mobile ads for wireless-fidelity users, the companies said Tuesday.

KT and NHN Business Platform Corp., NHN’s affiliate providing ad sales and information technology infrastructure, will each invest 3 billion won ($2.76 million) in the joint venture, which will target local merchants, they said in a statement.

The joint venture’s first service will be Wi-Fi advertisements.

Advertisers will finance infrastructure and maintenance fees for a new Wi-Fi zone at a local store where users can use free Wi-Fi after browsing advertisements on their mobile phones.

Global mobile software makers, including Google Inc., as well as wireless operators and Web portal operators have been racing to capitalize on the booming market for mobile ads as smartphones and tablet computers quickly become a major gateway to the Internet.

The two Korean tech and telecom companies said they also plan to create services based on users’ location information.

KT could create new ad services by meshing ads with its Internet Protocol television service or by working with its ad agency, it said. NHN, the operator of the Naver Web portal, expects to develop locally targeted ads with its map service. 

(Yonhap News)
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