The Korea Herald

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지나쌤

SK Telecom chief to spur network evolution

By 신현희

Published : Jan. 13, 2011 - 11:49

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Ha focuses on speed, openness and collaboration

SK Telecom Co., the nation’s top mobile carrier, will speed up its transition to the next-generation network and boost cooperation with application developers and suppliers, its new chief executive said on Wednesday.

In his first news conference since taking office on Jan. 1, Ha Sung-min, 54, unveiled a new management strategy focused on speed, openness and collaboration. 

Ha Sung-min

Ha Sung-min

“SK Telecom will build a strong, smart network and open, intelligent platform to be a global leader in information and communications technology,” Ha said.
Ha succeeded Jung Man-won, who was promoted to SK Group vice chairman in a reshuffle late last year.

The telecom operator plans to launch the fourth-generation wireless network called Long-Term Evolution in Seoul by July.

Since last year the company has been accelerating its network push to meet surging demand for wireless data. 

LTE technology is designed to highly increase the capacity and speed of mobile communications, with a comprehensive and secure internet protocol-based mobile broadband solution to smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and other mobile devices.

Competition is heating up to upgrade networks among local telecom carriers. KT Corp. announced last year that it will invest 1.67 trillion won ($1.49 billion) and work with electronic giants such as Samsung and LG-Ericsson for a high-speed LTE network.

LG Uplus, the smallest mobile carrier, said in late November it plans to construct a nationwide LTE network by July to supply surging data demand as more and more people use smartphones and tablet PCs.

To shore up open collaboration, the company built an “innovative ecosystem” last year to provide technology education and training for starting a business for platform developers, and to share application programming interface skills such as social networking services and messaging with them.

“In the ICT industry, we passed an era in which an individual company can secure growth solely with its own capabilities,” Ha said. “Mutual growth through open collaboration is a common task for all ICT firms and a wave of the times that all industries ought to pursue.”

Under the new management system, SK also newly set up a platform division to nurture the field as a growth engine along with the mobile business.

Ha said the company will be able to boast “visible achievements” from its platform business for the telecommunications and electronics industries.

“This year marks the first year of the full-scale platform business,” he said. “We will put in all the energies to uplift our performance at home and abroad.”

SK is pushing to expand its application market T-Store to Japan, China and other Asian countries where Korean culture received much popularity, Ha added.

“In addition to the Chinese market we penetrated last year, we’ll be able to drive additional visible results in the first half of the year,” he said.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)