The Korea Herald


SKT marks 40th anniversary with new emblem

By Jo He-rim

Published : March 28, 2024 - 15:34

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SK Telecom's emblem marks the 40th anniversary of the company's founding. (SK Telecom) SK Telecom's emblem marks the 40th anniversary of the company's founding. (SK Telecom)

Marking the 40th anniversary of its founding, SK Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless carrier by the number of accounts, promised to transform into a global artificial intelligence company, Thursday.

The mobile carrier, first established in March 1984 under the name, Korea Mobile Telecommunication Services Corp., celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday.

"SKT's 40 years of achievements were made possible by its unique DNA of overcoming challenging situations and creating a history of success," SK Telecom Chief Executive Officer Ryu Young-sang said in a town hall meeting with employees on Wednesday.

"Based on this DNA of challenge and success, we will leap forward as a global AI company, leading the industries of South Korea with AI and creating another success story."

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, SK Telecom also unveiled a new emblem and catchphrase, "the power to renew South Korea with AI, SK Telecom," which reflects the company's desire to boost the country's AI industry.

Declaring that this year is the first year of the next 40 years, SK Telecom said it will expand its AI business based on its new "AI pyramid strategy" announced last year. For this goal, the company will work together with members of the Global Telco AI Alliance.

SK Telecom has formed the GTAA with Deutsche Telekom, e&, Singtel and SoftBank, to join forces to develop telco-specific large language models, and announced the launch of a joint venture dedicated to the goal at this year's MWC, the world's largest telecommunications trade show in Barcelona, Spain in February.

The alliance, which combined has 1.3 billion subscribed users around the world, also aims to help telecom carriers improve their customer interactions via digital assistants and chatbots.

SK Telecom, then called KMTS, was the first mobile carrier to introduce vehicle phones and wireless pagers in the Korean market in 1984. In June 1994, SK Group purchased the company’s stocks to become the largest shareholder, and then the telecommunication firm changed its name to SK Telecom in March 1997, officially joining the conglomerate.

In January 1996, SKT set a milestone in mobile communications history by commercializing CDMA digital mobile phones for the first time in the world.

The company continued to push for new developments, and commercially introduced next-generation mobile communication technologies, including LTE-A in 2013 and 5G technology in 2019.