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Cross-Border Wireless Internet Services

WiBro, the wireless broadband platform favored by South Korean operators and vendors, will become a prominent access technology not only for South Korean wireless Internet businesses but also in the global arena. KT and SK Telecom have been aggressively preparing to launch WiBro commercial services early next year. WiBro vendors and operators in South Korea are already making progress faster than the WiMAX camp in terms of specification and market scale. Conventional wisdom previously regarded WiBro as a local specification fulfilling Korean local conditions only, but it is gradually becoming accepted as a potential global specification, especially when WiBro provides interoperability with IEEE 802.16e. WiBro has been expanding its global presence. In July, the Japanese government, accepted WiBro along with mobile WiMAX as a next-generation broadband wireless standard candidate. In the meantime, WiBro with VoIP can offer lots of benefits in terms of economics and fast deployment for global operators. According to ABI Research senior analyst Andy Bae, "With Korean users' high demands for wireless multimedia services via the Internet, and KT's aggressive 'WiBro as Next Growth Engine' plan to compete with SK Telecom-backed HSDPA, WiBro in South Korea will be well-positioned." Nonetheless, terminal vendors should carefully examine users' preferences and market demands for applications, in accordance with service roadmaps.

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