Friday, October 26, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, October 22 2007] Internet Companies Explore Mobile Phone Services

Internet companies around the globe are pushing hard to enter the telephone calling market. Skype, an international Internet calling company with 220 million subscribers that is owned by online auction site eBay, is reportedly planning to release its own mobile phone later this month or in early November.

Dubbed the "white phone," the device will allow users who are within Wi-Fi service zones to make cheap Internet calls with the press of a button. In areas where Wi-Fi is not available, 3, a wireless operator, will provide service.


Calling is the latest Internet trend as businesses search for the next growth engine. Internet companies can use Internet calling as a source of competitiveness because it is cheaper than mobile and wired services. Apple's recent success with its iPhone has also inspired many to believe that newcomers can take on existing players in the market.


"From what I know, Korean portals are even considering developing or selling their own mobile phones as mobile virtual network operators," said a source from SK Telecom. "They are constantly working to enter the telephone network business, although they cannot compete with KT and SK Telecom."

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