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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Internet Phone Users on the Rise in Korea
  • December 21, 1998 (SEOUL) -- International calls via the Internet are surging in Korea because the price is 60 percent less than that of ordinary telephone calls.
    This is hurting key telecommunication service operators such as Korea Telecom and Dacom Corp., industry watchers here said.

    According to documents of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Internet phone service providers, which borrow network lines mainly from Korea Telecom, saw a 50 percent rise in sales every month this year, while their total operating earnings nearly doubled to 3.41 billion won last August from 1.69 billion won in June.

    In September and October, Internet call service providers' earnings grew by 100 percent to 15.6 billion won.

    By company, SK Telecom earned the largest income of 1.6 billion won as of last August, followed by LG Distribution at about 1.6 billion and Inet Telcom at 1.4 billion.

    "Since the economic crisis began, companies prefer cheaper phone service providers," said a board member of Korea Telecom. "Yet, they are not our competitors, because they borrow our lines."

    Industry watchers expect Internet call service providers to expand their market share to 13 percent from the current 3 percent by 2002.

    (Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea)

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    Updated: Sun Dec 20 17:19:58 1998 PDT