SK Telecom is South Korea’s biggest mobile carrier. It announced yesterday that it is putting $2.2 billion aside to search for new growth divers over the next five years. What does it mean by growth drivers? In particular, it’s looking for new technologies, new services and foreign expansion.
South Korea may be the most advanced mobile market in the world, but it’s also completely saturated. SK Telecom is looking at pretty much zero growth for the next few years, coupled with a recent explosion of competition. The traditional advertising and sales venues have filled up so SK is looking at expanding into foreign markets, particularly the US and China. It’s also interested in next generation networks, and cross-industry technological convergence.
From the story:
“I’ve got approval to spend minimum 3 trillion won ($2.2 billion) in the next five years,” SK CEO Jung Man-won said. “The mobile telecom market is in a far more stagnant status than I had thought.”
What we think?
It’s Alexander the Great all over again. “And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Here we have an operator who’s major complaint is genuinely that they had been too successful at home. I can’t wait to see what SK makes of the US market – having been born in a market where 95% of the population is steeped in mobile technology and mobile services, I wonder what it will make of the US mobile data scene? Sure, there are some American innovators in that area, but a lot of the American operators attitude towards billing is ass-backwards.