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  • Korea Telecom Develops IMT-2000 Satellite Mobile Phone
  • August 26, 1998 (SEOUL) -- Korea Telecom (KT) developed a satellite mobile phone called IMT-2000, which allows transmission of video images in addition to voice data.
    The state-run telephone company said it invested 7 billion won (US$5.3 million) over the past two years and recently finished a trial of the phone at its research and development center.

    "This is the first time that all the IMT-2000 technologies have been developed on our own," a company official said.

    "We have proposed IMT-2000's development standards to the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations body that coordinates global standards for telecom devices.

    KT's new mobile phone infrastructure features a handset, base stations, controllers and ATM (asynchronous transfer mode)-based switching machines.

    For the new system, KT adopted a broadband CDMA (code division multiple access) system with a frequency band of 10MHz, which can transmit 10 times more data than conventional mobile phone systems.

    Because cellular and PCS (personal communications service) phones have low frequency bands, transmission of moving images is not possible.

    Korea Telecom said it expects to offer a commercial service after 2000.

    SK Telecom Co. was the first company to launch a trial satellite mobile phone operation.

    SK's new satellite system, which uses a 5MHz frequency band, allows voice communication, multimedia features and wireless Internet access. SK said it will develop its commercial system by 2001.

    To date, SK and KT of Korea, Japan's NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and Sweden's LM Ericsson have unveiled their respective pilot products for IMT-2000, while the international standards for the satellite phone have yet to be decided through the ITU.

    Related story: Hyundai to Enhance Communications Equipment Business

    Related story: IDO to Enter Mobile Phone Business in Korea By 2000

    (Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea)

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    Updated: Tue Aug 25 20:43:11 1998 PDT