South Korea's mobile market passed the 110% penetration rate mark into 2013. With all three mobile operators having merged the fixed and mobile sides of business in 2011, triple-play was promoted more actively. The introduction of converged services across the fixed-line, mobile and broadband infrastructure has resulted in more attractive bundled pricing for consumers. LTE was launched in 2011 and saw fast growth into 2013, accounting for over 20% of all subscriptions. 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 2017.
Mobile penetration over 110% and ARPU around US$25; launch of LTE and testing of LTE-Advanced; introduction of MVNOs in 2011; smartphone adoption rising to over 20 million subscribers and 40% of the mobile subscriber base; an 11-fold jump in mobile data traffic over a one year period; Wi-Fi traffic accounting for a third of all mobile traffic; drive for NFC chips in smartphones; first ever spectrum auctions as 2G frequency bands expired; launch of HD voice over LTE (VoLTE) by SK Telecom; a reported minimum 50% increase in monthly data usage on LTE compared with 3G; uptrend in ARPU driven by demand and LTE pricing.