The Straits Times
Published on Feb 27, 2013

S. Korean operators warn Europe of "curse" of 4G networks


BARCELONA (REUTERS) - South Koreans telecom executives have a message for European cousins who have long looked on in envy at the highly connected Asian market: Be careful what you wish for.

South Korea, the world's most wired country with 30 per cent of its 50 million mobile users on superfast networks, has inspired many European operators ahead of their own rollout of networks based on LTE, or fourth-generation technology.

But SK Telecom, the country's largest operator with more than half of the market, and second player KT Corp told Reuters that although the rollout of faster networks had been good for consumers, they were still struggling to make money on the technology 18 months after launch.

"Our European colleagues complain that the explosion in data has not fully happened for them, that it did not come to reality," Mr Suk Chae Lee, the head of KT Corp, told Reuters at the Mobile World Congress on Tuesday.