J. Sebastian Lee, vice president of media business strategy at Group Media & Communications Office, KT, is speaking at the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Ahead of the show we speak to him about KT’s recent achievements and how KT is continuing to innovate in the LTE space.
What were the major milestones for you over the past year?
Originally launched in April 2010, we continued with our business innovation through our Business & Information System Transformation (BIT) programme. The purpose of this is not only improving system integration, but also enhancing business culture and manners. We also launched a Dish Convergence Solution (DCS) service for the first time in Korea.
Another highlight was being named the “World’s Best LTE Service” at the LTE Awards at the LTE World Summit 2012 and achieving a nationwide LTE rollout in the shortest ever period of time in the world so far.
What do you see as the defining application for LTE/4G?
For KT, LTE/4G is the cornerstone for providing an “HD Mobile Wonderland” to our customers. Specific examples of applications are HD Voice, HD Video calls, HD Wibro, premium Wi-Fi, and RCS.
You are one of the first to implement VoLTE worldwide? Tell us more about why you have done this?
We believe Korea boasts the world’s best IT infrastructure, and is one of the most competitive markets for telecommunications services. Thus this makes us the world’s best test-bed for new services such as VoLTE. Conversely, rivals in our market did not manage to introduce a 3G network, hurried up their LTE provision and introduced VoLTE to compensate for a deficiency of LTE technology oriented data services.
There have been reports of bandwidth restrictions of Net-connected TVs in South Korea. Net neutrality is of concern politically right now in many parts of the world. Where do you stand on this issue?
From KT’s perspective concerning net neutrality issues, the most important issue is the need for reasonable network management. Telcos should be able to manage traffics for users and service providers in a reasonable manner and to prioritise traffic when network congestion occurs.
According to the ‘Beneficiary Pays’ principle, telcos should seek to build a virtuous circle in the internet ecosystem and enhance the network by establishing a reasonable payment system.
When creating a next-generation network, what innovative technologies are needed to deal with the current and expected demands for data?
KT is currently involved in a number of activities to solve the data crunch:
– Creating an “Uninterrupted Total Network” to connect 3G network and LTE technology
– Maximising wifi usage when downloading videos, off loading data traffic and saving customers from being charged
– Bonding 20MHz wifi bandwidth to effectively upgrade it to 40MHz
– Upgrading LTE technology virtualisation by increasing the number of virtualisation network posts and applying virtualisation technology into VoLTE
– Commercialising single chip femtocells
Roaming charges are coming down in Europe. Is this a point of concern for you in your region?
In Korea, telcos are voluntarily trying to lower roaming tariffs and are introducing various customer policies preventing “roaming bill-shock” such as automatic data roaming shutdown when the roaming price gets to the amount of 100,000 WON, with an alarm service. KT started this service and it has become the benchmark for other telcos.
What are the key challenges you expect to face over the next 12 months?
These will be gaining business leadership in the LTE environment and finding new business opportunities outside telco’s traditional communications business fields. We also have to correctly manage our booming existing business models and services.
Why is your attendance at this event so important for you and your company and what aspect are you looking forward to most?
We hope to figure out global trends for telco and OTT business and services and seek out collaboration with overseas telcos for new business opportunities. We also hope to get some fresh ideas on service innovation.