SK Telecom, the country’s top mobile carrier, said Wednesday it will aggressively enter overseas markets, such as China and Japan, by opening its application store to customers there.
SKT’s T-Store content and applications will be sold through a shop-in-shop form within the Mobile Market, which is China Mobile’s application store, beginning in July, its officials said.
The company also signed an agreement with China Mobile, which has a 70 percent share in the Chinese telecommunications market, to work together on promoting mobile content exchanges.
It will further promote discussions with China Mobile for the Seoul-based company to run a separate server that could distribute more applications and feature mobile advertising services, according to company officials.
“SKT’s partnership with China Mobile will become an opportunity to accelerate global expansion of the T-Store platform,” said Lee Joo-sik, executive vice president and head of the new business division at the company.
The move to tackle the two Asian markets comes after the telecom firm made a number of attempts ― which were labeled rather unsuccessful ― to dive into other foreign markets in the past.
In one case, the company set up a firm to take position as a mobile virtual network operator in the U.S. in 2006. The company, however, gave up on the project after two years due to a lack of subscribers and insufficient earnings.
The company plans to advance into the Japanese market by launching in September a localized version of T-Store, tentatively dubbed “J-Store.” Content, applications and the user interface will be localized to match the taste of Japanese customers.
The mobile carrier is currently in talks with Japanese handset manufacturers and content distributors involving marketing and operation issues involving the application store.
“SKT plans to introduce J Store as an independent application store and attract Japanese customers with rich Korean content and applications,” said SKT officials.
A Global Distribution Center, which will assist Korean software developers in the localization and optimization processes to sell their products overseas, will be opened next month.
The center will help content developers overcome obstacles, which include language difference, copyright infringement and an unclear settlement system, according to company officials.
“SKT will continue to make multifaceted efforts to enlarge T Store’s mobile ecosystem so that Korean developers can successfully make inroads into the global market,” said Lee.
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com