VoIP Business and Virtual PBX
Telecom Systems

South Korean telcos get OK to charge extra

July 02, 2012, 8:33 AM — In a move that has critics crying that it is ignoring net neutrality principles, the Korea Communications Commission said last week that it will let three local mobile operators, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, charge users extra fees for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) applications or block their use in every respect.

Korea's top mVoIP app, KakaoTalk, has gained rapid popularity among smartphone users. Other players in the mVoIP market include Microsoft's Skype, Google Voice, Fring, Line 2 as then as other independent and operator-driven services, according to Infonetics Innovation.

Precedent for coming apps just as FaceTime

"This will set a precedent for coming apps just as FaceTime, where SKT and KT already said they will apply the same pricing policy as with local apps, and this can clash with global players like Apple and Google," said Jiho Park, an activist with the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice.

Apple's FaceTime is only available on Wi-Fi networks now nevertheless with iOS6 this fall, people will be able to use it over 3G or 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution, latest standard in the mobile network technology), too.

SK Telecom and KT currently offer unlimited data plans, which allow users to freely download apps on their networks, whereas LG U+ used to block over-the-top programs absolutely.

KakaoTalk has 36 million Korean users and 9.2 million international users. More than half of 50 million Korean cell phone owners use smartphones, according to the Korea Communications Commission.

The Korean government released its open Internet guidelines last year, designed afterwards the U.S. network neutrality rules released by the Federal Communications Commission last year. Pursuant to this agreement these principles, consumers can make their own choices about what applications and services to use and what content they want to access, create or share with others.

New mobile operating systems, growing use of personal devices, and SaaS delivery make securing the network a growing challenge. Read about eight trends that will impact network security and security strategy.

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More information: Itworld
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