For some, financial crisis can be a boon

Other | 2008/11/21 13:54 | Web 2.0 Asia

Digital Daily reports that internet telephony (voice over IP, or VoIP) service is rapidly gaining popularity in the Korean market, apparently helped by the ongoing slow economy. During the last 10 days, over 50,000 users have switched over to internet phone services, showing about 56% month-to-month increase (In September, about 32,000 people subscribed to the internet phone services.) 

In Korea, LG Dacom is the biggest market player - obviously it's part of the LG conglomerate. Other big conglomerates, such as Samsung, SK, KT (Korea Telecom) are all in this market, making the still nascent market very crowded. 

Internet phone service providers now provide what they call "number portability", meaning users can use existing phone numbers even if they switch to VoIP service, or switch among different VoIP service providers. If you can continue using the same phone number while just saving money, switching over quickly becomes a no brainer. Among internet phone users, calls are free unlimited; Outbound calls can be cheaper by up to 80%. 

This got me thinking that even under difficult financial times, good internet business models can win new customers and thrive - especially those that can help customers save money or time. That said, I haven't seen many new web services in Korea/Asia that allow me to do just that. Come on, entrepreneurs! :) 
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