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SK Communications releases new mobile messenger service

SK Communications said Wednesday it launched a new mobile messenger service called “NateOn talk” for Android-powered smartphones, claiming it aims to garner up to 10 million users by the year end.

SK Communications, operator of the country’s popular social networking site Cyworld, said the new mobile messenger will feature short messaging and mobile voice over Internet protocol services, along with access to an array of contents, ranging from music, videos to fortune-telling.
Models show SK Communications’ new mobile messenger service NateOn talk in Seoul on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Models show SK Communications’ new mobile messenger service NateOn talk in Seoul on Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The service is also scheduled to be available for iPhone owners by the end of this month.

“What is also unique about this service is that you don’t have to log in to get the messages sent by others on your friends’ list. You would receive the messages in all circumstances,” said Ahn Jae-ho, executive of the communication division at SK Communications.

With the rising number of smartphone users in Korea, the competition between mobile messenger operators has been spicing up as venture firms and top portals, as well as telecoms, rushed to grab a bigger share in the local market by upgrading their service quality. Kakao Talk, the most representative mobile messenger used by the smartphone owners, is currently nearing 20 million downloads here.

Users could log in to the NateOn talk service with their NateOn identifications or their mobile phone numbers.

The service is interlocked with the company’s fixed-line services, such as gifticon and Cyworld’s business platform, so that business transactions could also take place through the mobile messenger.

“We’re planning to take our strong presence in the fixed-line sector to differentiate us from other operators and also work on location-based services, which is be done in cooperation with SK Telecom,” said Ahn.

File transfers ― images, videos, documents and Excel files up to 500 megabyte in total size ― will also be made easy, he said.

“NateOn talk is an all-in-one service which provides key functions like voice calls, messaging and wireless and fixed-line network linkage,” said Choi Kil-sung, chief convergence officer at the firm. “We plan to turn this into the country’s most popular service by working hand-in-hand with content providers outside the company.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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