Mobile phone industry in South Korea

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The mobile phone industry in South Korea is described in this article.


  • 1984, Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service, Korea Telecom's subsidiary which later became SK Telecom, started its mobile communications service, using the car phone
  • 1988, Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service started South Korea's first mobile phone service.[1]
  • 1996, Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service started the world's first cdmaOne service in Incheon. In the same year, Korea Telecom Freetel (KTF), which later got merged with Korea Telecom, its parent company, began its service.[2]
  • 1997, Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service was sold to SK Group and changed its name to SK Telecom. In the same year, LG Telecom started its business.[3]
  • 2002, Korea Telecom Freetel merged Internet companies invested by Samsung Group and became KTF.
  • 2009, KTF was merged with Korea Telecom.
  • 2010, LG Telecom, LG Dacom, LG Powercom were merged into LG U Plus.
  • 2012, South Korea shutdown all 2g service and to 3g network.

As new technology is developed, such as, WiBro and LTE protocol suite, more demand is growing in quality communication service area.[citation needed]

Mobile phone service providers[edit]

The are three mobile phone service providers.

  • Korea Telecom
Korea Telecom (KT) in 2002 absorbed KT Freetel (KTF), its mobile phone service provider, and offers its services, using HSPA and LTE networks. It is currently deploying an LTE network.
  • LG U Plus
LG U Plus (LG U+), a member of LG Group, also provides CDMA2000 and LTE networks.
  • SK Telecom
SK Telecom (SKT) of SK Group also offers its service, using CDMA2000, HSPA and LTE networks.

There market shares of the three companies are believed to be: SK Telecom's 50 percent, Korea Telecom's 30 percent and LG Telecom's 20 percent.[4]

Mobile phone industry[edit]

In South Korea, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is the telecommunications authority.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) supports Qualcomm's research and development of CDMA and CDMA2000 technology.

Regarding the Korean mobile phone industry's overseas experiences, SK Telecom has helped the first mobile phone service companies in Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, etc. In China, it helped China Unicom's CDMA implementation, both technically and financially.[citation needed]


Samsung and Apple have the largest market shares in Korea. Nokia already discontinued its sales operations in Korea.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]