Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ubiquitous Korea

Korea IT Times
Magazine (January 2005/Vol.7)

Cover Story : Along with our story on President Roh Moo-hyun's summit diplomacy, the theme that The korea IT Times has adopted for our January 2005 issue is that of "Ubiquitous Korea", i.e., the advanced leved of mobile communications technology that now characterizes the Korean IT industry. We pursue this theme in an interview with information and communication minister, Chin Dae-je as well as interviews with the commissioners of Korea's three Free Economic Zone authorities (...) + Source here

MIC: In Van of 'U-Korea' Constuction

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has gone a long way toward a 'U-Korea' , that is the construction of a 'U-biquitous Society'.

Minister of Information and Communication Chin Dae-je, said in an interview with Korea IT Times, "As global competition is becoming fiercer than ever before due to a speedy development of IT technology and a rapid change in its environment, the nation needs to make preparations earlier than other countries.

"In particular, it is very important to find out a new strategy to effectively cope with the recent IT mega trend for the nation's second take-off toward a rapid growth, Minister Chin said.

The ubiquitous society refers to a society armed with intelligent networks, up-to-date computer technology, and other advanced infrastructure.

Minister Chin explained, "It means a society where all people can enjoy benefits of state-of-the-art IT at anywhere and anytime. To realize such a society, the government has adopted a new strategy, called the construction of the 'U-Korea' .

In other words, the 'U-Korea' means that the development of IT technology as well as IT service exists not only for growth in the industrial and economic sides, but for life culture revolution that brings about a revolutionary change in the comprehensive national life.

The minister said that to enter into a 'U-Korea' society, a balanced development among three elements of the IT service, including infrastructure and technology, should be made.

In line with this, the ministry has been actively pushing for the "IT839 strategy' in a bid to achieve the 'U-Korea' in the near future.

Minister Chin commented on the construction of 'U-Korea' and the "IT839 strategy in preparation for the ubiquitous era in the following interview with Korea IT Times.

Q: First of all, could you comment on MIC's efforts in preparation for the ubiquitous era that is being frequently mentioned recently?

A: MIC is propelling the construction of the 'U-Korea' through the "IT839 strategy in preparation for the ubiquitous era, a new paradigm of informatization.

The 'U-Korea' means a national strategy to enter into a ubiquitous society where all people can enjoy benefits of state-of-the-art IT through intelligent networks and ubiquitous computing technology.

To become a top-level IT country, it is very important for the country to prepare a foundation for new growth by creating new value added on the basis of established IT performance.

In terms of the IT industry, the government and business circles should pursue a joint strategy to preoccupy the global market by securing related core technologies in an early stage and by actively fostering new IT fields in consideration of the growth potential as well as competitiveness.

In the informatization sector, MIC is also striving to enhance national competitiveness by improving the nation's quality of life and innovating society's interaction with new IT technology development as well as environment improvement.

Through the "IT839 Strategy, the government is exerting its best efforts for creation of services with high value added, construction of infrastructure, and technology development.

Q: What is the meaning of the "IT839 strategy, a core strategy for the construction of the 'U-Korea' And do you expect any tangible results in the IT industry and the national economy through this?

A: The "IT839 strategy refers to a strategy for the development of the IT industry that nurtures eight communication broadcasting services, three state-of-the-art infrastructures (networks), and nine IT new growth engines synthetically.

In the case of the IT industry, the introduction and activation of new services are closely linked with the expansion of investment in infrastructure and the development of state-of-the-art machinery, tools and content industries.

Accordingly, MIC is planning to introduce eight kinds of services, including WiBro, DMB, and Internet telephone, to the field of telecommunication broadcasting service earlier than the nation's foreign competitors.

In addition, the ministry is propelling the "IT839 strategy to produce world top-class products and enhance competitiveness of nine new technologies products, such as next-generation mobile telecommunication, home network, and digital TV. It also plans to attract investment in three infrastructure, such as BcN, U-sensor network, and Ipv6 as a means of bolstering the nation's telecommunication broadcasting service field.

Namely, MIC is making a strong push for the "IT839 strategy as a driving force for growth of the IT industry that is rushing up to an unlimited competition. Like this, the "IT839 strategy is expected to play a great role in driving the nation after 5 to 10 years.

If the "IT839 Strategy's propelled without a failure, the volume of the IT service market will soar from 43.3 trillion won in 2003 to 53.3 trillion won in 2007. The entire IT industry production is also forecast to increase from 209 trillion won in 2003 to 240 trillion won in 2004, and further to 380 trillion won in 2007.

With the anticipating rise of exports in the IT industry from $70 billion in 2004 to $110 billion in 2007, it is expected to play a pivotal role in helping the nation achieve a $20,000 per capita gross domestic product (GDP).

Q: We understand that the "IT839 strategy's a technical roadmap to the 'U-Korea' . Please explain what the "IT839 strategy's and why it is necessary.

A: The "IT839 strategy is a strategy that connects service, infrastructure (networks), and nine new growth engines organically. Through a competition policy, the "IT839 strategy is to induce quality competition and to nurture the world-class products by beefing up the competitiveness of nine IT new growth engines.

In the past, the government created new domestic demands by introducing the CDMA mobile telephone service and created fierce competition among domestic companies. As a result, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were able to occupy the world market, which had been led by Nokia and Motorola.

Like the CDMA case, the"IT839 strategy is a national project for the IT sector to greatly contribute to attaining $20,000 in per capita GDP by nurturing it as the national economy's new growth engine.

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+ DMB Goes Into Full Service This Year

The digital mobile broadcasting (DMB) goes into full service this year. Customers of the service can experience the newly introduced handheld media while related industries concerned with displayers, broadcasting systems and equipment, as well as video contents, are highly expected to contribute to the revitalizing of the nation's economy by creating new markets.

By the year 2010, it is estimated that the DMB industry will create a total of 1.4 trillion won in the domestic market in the service sector and a 1.3 trillion won market related with manufacturing DMB diplayers.

The DMB services, which can be divided into ground-wave and satellite DMBs, will go into service in the first half of this year. In the case of satellite DMB, TU Media of SK Telecom has already been chosen as the service provider and is scheduled to begin broadcasting services on May 1. As a leading partner of a consortium with a capital of 137 billion won, TU Media plans to operate a total of 38 channels that include 14 TV channels and 24 radio channels.

In the case of ground-wave DMB, the service providers for the Seoul metropolitan area will be determined in early March and begin broadcasting in the first half of this year.

While the broadcasting of satellite services will be the second of its kind after Japan, Korea will open the door for the world's first commercial operation of ground-wave DMB broadcasting, thus allowing it to make inroads into both the Chinese and European markets.

As an industry highly anticipated to strengthen the competitive power of the nation after semiconductors and CDMAs, DMB is expected to be a trend-setter of the social and cultural life, bringing about considerable change in the pattern of viewers through the interactive medium.

In the meantime, the Korean Broadcasting Commission recently decided on an overall policy for the selection of ground-wave DMB service providers. The commission will receive applications for a broadcasting license and make final selection of six service providers in early March this year for their operations in the Seoul metropolitan area.

In the manufacturing sector, meanwhile, leading electronics companies such as Samsung, LG Electronics and Perstel are all planning to produce various types of DMB displayers in the first half of this year.

Adoption of Korean standards in the bag

In a recent interview with local media, Yim Chu-hwan, president of Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), stressed that it will be paramount for DMB service providers to access quality contents in order to capture the interest and loyalty of DMB viewers, saying that the services to be delivered by both the satellite and ground-wave are almost identical.

In the meantime, the ground-wave DMB technology developed by ETRI is attracting worldwide attention following its successful trial runs in France, Britain and Brazil. The technology transmits video and audio data based on "Eureka-147", the widely adopted digital and audio broadcasting standard in Europe.

Last year, the World Forum for Digital Audio Broadcasting (World DAB) decided to submit a proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for the adoption of Korean ground-wave DMB as a European standard. In view of the fact that most proposals made by World DAB have been adopted by ETSI, it is regarded by many that the adoption of the Korean technology by ETSI is a foregone conclusion.

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