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South Korea - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses


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South Korea - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

South Korea's mobile market has slow growth over the last few years due to a highly mature market. Organic growth by the three main mobile operators, together with the multitude of niche MVNOs will result in further growth to 2017 however growth rates will taper off further over the next few years as the market further matures. By 2015 SK Telecom was the market leader followed KT and LG Telecom.

New investments are intended to drive revenue and gain market share and recent years has seen the launch of LTE and the rapid increase in smartphone adoption.

In mid 2015 South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) began preparing a series of measures to deregulate the nations mobile market by facilitating the issue of a fourth mobile license. In late 2015 Ericsson and LG Uplus signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of 5G and (IoT) technologies.

This report provides an overview of the dynamic mobile market in South Korea and includes a summary of the mobile technologies, associated subscriber statistics down to operator level, and a number of mobile applications proving popular in the market. Mobile forecasts are included to 2021.

Key Developments:

LG Uplus demonstrated faster mobile broadband speeds using technology termed as LTE in Unlicensed spectrum (LTE-U).
In 2015 KT Corp constructed a new mobile network service Giga LTE' service utilises both LTE and Wi-Fi technologies to offer a peak speed of 1.17Gbps.
Ericsson and LG Uplus signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of 5G and (IoT) technologies.
SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus' launched the world's first commercial interconnected VoLTE service.
LG Uplus introduced a new technology designed to boost telecom quality in network blind spots, called Cloud Digital Unit' (CDU').

Companies covered in this report include:

KT; LG U+; SK Telecom.


1. Synopsis
2. Market Overview and Analysis
3. Background of South Korea's mobile market
4. Mobile statistics
4.1 General statistics
4.1.1 Mobile subscribers by operator
4.1.2 Mobile ARPU by operator
4.1.3 Smartphones
4.2 Mobile data
4.3 Forecasts
4.3.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
5. Regulatory issues
5.1 Licensing
5.2 Spectrum
5.2.1 Spectrum auctions: 1.2GHz, 1.8GHz and 800MHz
5.2.2 Additional spectrum allocation
6. Mobile infrastructure
6.1 Digital networks
6.1.1 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
6.1.2 Wideband CDMA (WCDMA)
6.1.3 LTE
6.1.4 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
6.1.5 5G
6.2 Other infrastructure developments
6.2.1 VoLTE
6.3 IoT and M2M networks
7. Major mobile operators
7.1 KT Corp
7.2 SK Telecom
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Next Generation Growth Strategy
7.2.3 SK Planet
7.3 LG U+
7.4 MVNOs
8. Mobile content and applications (These are Examples only)
8.1 m-commerce
8.1.1 App-based m-payment
9. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile subscribers 2006 - 2015
Table 2 Mobile subscribers (historical) 1985 - 2005
Table 3 Mobile subscribers by operator 2002 - 2015
Table 4 Mobile operator market share 2002 - 2016
Table 5 Mobile Service ARPU per month by operator 2009 - 2015
Table 6 Smart phone subscribers and market share (historical) 2009 - 2012
Table 7 Forecast smart phone and tablet PC subscribers and market share 2010 2015
Table 8 Monthly Traffic volume per phone type 2012 - 2014
Table 9 Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rates 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 10 CDMA mobile subscribers by operator (historical) 2002 - 2013
Table 11 WCDMA subscribers by operator (historical) 2013
Table 12 LTE mobile subscribers by operator 2011 2014
Table 13 KT Corp's mobile and 3G subscribers and total market share 2004 - 2015
Table 14 KT's Voice and data ARPU 2004 2015
Table 15 SK Telecom revenue, net profit, capex, EBITDA margin 2005 - 2015
Table 16 SK Telecom mobile and 3G subscribers, ARPU 2002 - 2015
Table 17 SK Telecom smartphone subscribers and penetration 2009 - 2015
Table 18 Monthly LTE usage per subscriber 2012 - 2015
Table 19 LG U+ revenue, net income, EBITDA 2009 2015
Table 20 LG U+ revenue breakdown by service 2009 2014
Table 21 LG U+ capex 2009 2015
Table 22 LG U+ - total mobile ARPU 2009 - 2015
Table 23 LG Telecom mobile subscribers, ARPU 2003 - 2015
Table 24 LG Telecom smartphone subscribers and penetration 2011 2014
Table 25 MVNO subscribers by operator 2012 - 2014
Table 26 M-commerce transaction value 2012 - 2015
Table 27 Payment Gateway transaction value 2012 - 2015
Chart 1 South Korea mobile subscriber growth, population penetration 2006 - 2015
Chart 2 Operator total market share 2015
Exhibit 2 SK Telecom at a glance
Exhibit 3 LG U+ at a glance

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