[Photo by LG Uplus Corp.]
South Korea’s second and third largest wireless carriers KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. have strengthened their partnership to jointly launch a store locator service that enables users to find names and phone numbers of the most frequently visited stores within proximity of 3 kilometers based on big data analysis.
The two companies have joined forces once again to compete with the nation’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co.’s voice call platform T Phone that has become a huge hit with the number of users exceeding 1,300 as of March this year. As SK Telecom made its service, which filters out spam and provides information of surrounding stores, available for KT and LG Uplus subscribers last year, the two rival carriers teamed up to release their own service.
They have been stepping up their strategic partnership in contents and supplementary services to catch up with the country’s dominant leader SK Telecom. The two firms have recently upgraded their navigation service by partnering with the nation’s No.1 navigation device provider Thinkware Systems Corp. to challenge SK Telecom’s T Map service. LG Uplus in March acquired a 15 percent stake in KT Music Corp., KT’s music service unit that provides music streaming service Genie, and launched a supplementary service of Genie. They also have been working together to develop narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology with an aim to dominate the IoT market by beating SK Telecom’s IoT network platform LoRa.
KT and LG Uplus’s joint efforts to challenge the top player SK Telecom’s dominance is expected to continue for a while, given the fact that the tech industry tends to be a ‘winner-take-all’ market in which leading companies command the lion’s share of the market with the rest left with very little share. In the United States, the U.S. second largest cable TV company Time Warner Cable (TWC) merged with the No. 4 Charter Communications last year, threatening the leading position of the industry leader Comcast.
By Cho Hee-young
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]