Korea continues to strengthen its position as a global ICT powerhouse. According to the annual flagship report released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in November 2016, Korea has topped the global ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings in 2016 for the second consecutive year. ITU also announced that Korea achieved top position on household Internet access rate recording 99.2% in 2016 compared to 98.8% in 2015. Furthermore, Korea has defended the first place on the Bloomberg Innovation Index for the fourth consecutive year among the list of 50 most innovative economies compiled by Bloomberg. On Akamai Korea's 2016 Q4 report, Korea ranked first with an average internet access speed of 26.1Mbps.
Despite the uncertainties of overseas economies, Korea’s ICT industry has maintained remarkable growth over the past two years, accounting for more than 30% of total exports, and plays a pivotal role in Korea's economic growth. Aligned with Korea’s ICT development, SK Telecom is furthering out its global reach.
SK Telecom has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World for 10 consecutive years. As being the largest mobile operator leading Korea’s ICT industry, SK Telecom was titled as the first Asian mobile operator to be listed on the DJSI World.
On the basis of its global competitiveness, SK Telecom has been providing consulting services on network design, deployment and operation to 14 telecommunication companies in 10 countries including India, China, Vietnam and Russia since 2012.
On September 2017, SK Telecom entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Bharti Airtel Limited, the world's third largest mobile operator with operations in 20 countries and the largest mobile service provider in India, to build an advanced network in India. Through the partnership, SK Telecom and Bharti Airtel will work together to promote digital transformation for Bharti’s mobile networks by applying SK Telecom’s AI-based next-generation network solution to Bharti’s networks throughout India by 2019.
SK Telecom’s AI-based next-generation network solution, so-called the ‘heart of network’ which operates 24/7, will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to dramatically improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customized tools to improve network planning based on every customer’s device experience.
Armed with its extensive expertise in network deployment and operation, SK Telecom has been accumulating diverse experience in the global market. On February 2017, SK Telecom signed a contract with CAT Telecom, Thailand’s state-owned telecommunications company. Based on this contract, SK Telecom deployed an IoT dedicated network in Thailand and offered technology consulting services. From July, a pilot project has been started in Bangkok and Phuket. In Bangkok, LoRa network which is SK Telecom’s IoT dedicated network has been installed at the urban area near the royal palace along with the location tracking service for tourists. In Phuket where the ‘Smart city’ project is being rolled out, SK Telecom provided car location tracking service for tourists.
In addition to this project, SK Telecom also signed a contract with the second largest Vietnamese mobile operator, MobiFone, to provide consulting for deploying a nationwide LTE network in Vietnam.
On the firm foundation of accumulated milestones, SK Telecom will continue to expand its global footprints. As the largest mobile operator in one of the most ICT-leading countries in the world, SK Telecom will take the lead to bring its status as an ICT powerhouse and laying the groundwork for creating new industries.