1 Articles for 'Melon'

  1. 2007/11/21 The future of mobile carriers is here. It's called SK Telecom (2)

The future of mobile carriers is here. It's called SK Telecom

Mobile | 2007/11/21 01:17 | Web 2.0 Asia
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SK Telecom is Korea's top wireless carrier. Unlike some of other carriers which resemble ostriches with their heads buried in the sand, SKT had foresight and made acquisitions to place its bets across various multimedia businesses.

SKT companies now include:
  • SK Communications, which runs the ever-popular Cyworld
  • TU media, a DMB (DIgital multimedia broadcasting) service provider
  • Seoul Records (a record label) and Melon.com, Korea's top music download service - So SK telecom is a powerhouse of music industry, both online and off
  • IHQ, a talent agency and management company which has many K-wave stars under its roof
  • Ntreev, an online gaming company
  • Aircross, a mobile solution company
  • YTN Media, a cable channel running Comedy TV and YTN Star
  • Chungeorahm film, a major movie studio
  • Morning 365, an internet bookstore
  • Paxnet, Korea's top finance portal
And now, the company is planning to add Hanaro Telecom, the nation's #2 broadband service provider which also provides fixed telephone and IPTV services, to its army of affiliated companies.

Hanaro acquisition, when goes through, will be of magnitude that's no comparison to other acquisitions SKT has made so far. It will be big - about $1.2 bn big, to be exact. But monetary figures aside, the value Hanaro will be adding to SKT and the overall synergies to be created are what scare the SKT competitors.

So, SKT was smart and prescient enough to realize one day the wireless carriers will turn into "dumb bit pipes". SKT wanted to avoid this fate by diversifying into multimedia businesses, mostly through acquisitions. And they have made some great acquisitions - I mean, who among other wireless carriers have such diversified portfolio, spanning DMB, game, music, movies, entertainment, and even finance - and now poised to take over the broadband and IPTV services as well?

But does it mean SKT has successfully transformed itself from a wireless carrier into something totally different? Is SKT's innovation scale ranked right up there with Googles and Apples? That's a bit hard to say. SKT is still a wireless carrier by DNA, and many times, it shows. SKT doesn't seem to understand the ins and outs of new media business as thoroughly as, let's say, Apple does. Well, if we expect SKT to be as innovative as Apple, it might be a bit of stretch anyway.

All in all, there's no wonder SKT is among very few carriers in the world that know how to think ahead and make the right moves. In that sense, the future of wireless carriers is here, and it's called SK Telecom.

Only that the future of wireless carriers itself, at least for now, doesn't look terribly bright... Rumors like doesn't help so much either.
TAG DMB, , hanaro, IPTV, , music, , ,