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Telecommunications in South Korea

telecommunications in south korea
Communications services improved dramatically in the 1980s with the assistance of foreign partners and as a result of the development of the electronics industry The number of telephones in use in 1987 reached 92 million, a considerable increase from 1980, when there were 28 million subscribers which, in turn, was four times the number of subscribers in 1972

Radio, and in more recent years television, reached virtually every resident By 1945 there were about 60,000 radio sets in the country By 1987 there were approximately 42 million radio receivers in use, and more than 100 radio stations were broadcasting Transistor radios and television sets have made their way to the most remote rural areas Television sets, now mass-produced in South Korea, became far less expensive; most city people and a significant number of rural families owned or had access to a television Ownership of television sets grew from 25,000 sets when broadcasting was initiated in 1961 to an estimated 86 million sets in 1987, and more than 250 television stations were broadcasting


  • 1 Telephone
    • 11 Mobile phone
  • 2 Radio
  • 3 Television
  • 4 Internet
    • 41 IT and Broadband Development
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References


  • Telephones - main lines in use: 266 million 2004
  • Telephones - mobile cellular: 580 million 201571
  • Telephone system:
    • general assessment: excellent domestic and international services
    • domestic: NA
    • international: country code - 82; 10 fiber-optic submarine cables - 1 Korea-Russia-Japan, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong, 3 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-China-Europe, 1 Korea-Japan-China-US-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan-China, 1 Korea-Japan-Hong Kong-Taiwan, 1 Korea-Japan; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat 1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean and 3 Inmarsat 1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean
See also: List of telephone operating companies § South Korea

Mobile phoneedit

Main article: Mobile phone industry in South Korea

There are three mobile phone service providers: SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus


  • Radio broadcast stations: AM 61, FM 150, shortwave 2 2005


  • Television broadcast stations: terrestrial stations 43; cable operators 59; relay cable operators 190 2005

South Korea has six national terrestrial television networks from four broadcaster; KBS 1TV, KBS 2TV, MBC TV, SBS TV, EBS 1TV, and EBS 2TV All terrestrial channels are digital ATSC since January 2013

From November 2011, four generalist channel are available on cable television; JTBC, Channel A, TV Chosun, and MBN


  • Internet hosts: 74 million
  • Internet users: 439 million

Total population: 50 million July 2012 est

See also: Broadband Internet access worldwide § South Korea
  • Country code Top-level domain: KR

IT and Broadband Developmentedit

Today, South Korea has the highest number of broadband users The rapid growth of the Korean broadband market was the result of a combination of government pushes and market factors The government was active in promoting privatization and deregulation in general, and the information technology IT sector was no exception

The government implemented structural reforms in July 1990 Since the mid-1990s, the Ministry of Information and Communications MIC has pursued a policy of high-speed telecommunication infrastructure as a foundation to build a “knowledge-based society” In the telecommunications sector, competition was allowed on an incremental basis and, in the market for value added services, full competition was allowed In March 1995, Korea Information Infrastructure KII was established KII’s goal was to advance the nation’s IT infrastructure In August 1995, the Framework Act on Information Promotion was enacted

The country then experienced economic crisis in 1997 with the rest of the region During the economic reforms being implemented after the financial crisis, the information technology IT sector was one of several that was targeted and considered to be an important factor in the recovery of the nation’s economy In 1999, the government implemented the program known as Cyber Korea 21, which was intended to accelerate IT development

In 1999, the government provided US$77 million in loans with preferential rates to facilities service providers FSP In 2000, another US$77 million was provided in loans for suburban areas, small cities and towns, and regional industrial areas Another US$926 million was provided until 2005 in order to supply the rural areas with broadband

Commensurate with its investment funding, the government implemented various policies designed to increase internet use among the general population The government provided “internet literacy” lessons to homemakers, the elderly, military personnel, and farmers In June 2000, the government implemented what was known as the “Ten Million People Internet Education” project, the purpose of which was to provide internet education to ten million people

The number of broadband subscribers in Korea reached 10 million in October 2002, with about 70% out of 143 million homes connected at the speed of over 2 Mbit/s

In 2002, there were six operators providing broadband services in Korea The market share leader was Korea Telecom KT, with approximately 458% market share 45 million subscribers, followed by Hanaro Telecom with approximately 286% of the market and Thrunet with approximately 131% of the market In terms of technology, KT primarily uses Digital Subscriber Line DSL Hanaro uses a mix of cable and DSL Thrunet service is mainly provided through cable modem

At end of June 2011, subscribers of Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP service achieve 101 million or around 20 percent of South Korea's population2

This article relied on information from:

Yun, Kyounglim, Heejin Lee and So-Hye Lim, The Growth of Broadband Internet Connections in South Korea: Contributing Factors, Asia/Pacific Research Center, Stanford University September 2002

Choudrie, Jyoti and Heejin Lee, Broadband Development in South Korea: Institutional and Cultural Factors, European Journal of Information Systems v 13, pp 103–14 2004

See alsoedit

  • Korean telephone numbering plan
  • List of Korea-related topics
  • List of South Korean broadcasting networks
  • Ministry of Information and Communication
  • Mobile communications in South Korea
  • Powercomm


  1. ^ Korea Communications Commission, 2015 7
  2. ^ http://wwwantaranewscom/en/news/73417/number-of-internet-phone-subscribers-hits-10-mln-in-s-korea
  •  This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2locgov/frd/cs/
  •  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://wwwciagov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/indexhtml

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