South Korean Telecom Service Revenue to Reach $53.9 Billion in 2020

Date: 2015-09-27

The South Korean Telecom market is one of the most advanced telecom markets globally. Overall telecom services revenue is expected to reach US$53.9bn at the end of 2020. Mobile data will contribute nearly three-fourths of the overall telecom revenue, driven by increased adoption of LTE services and ongoing investments and research activities currently underway for 5G deployment and launch. Operators are focusing more on data-centric plans with unlimited data usage limits, mainly through bundled services offerings. The advancement in the underlying technology will enable operators to offer converged services at relatively lower prices. Competition in the telecom market is stable with the presence of three major players but will likely intensify in the near future owing to the regulator’s plan to introduce a fourth operator into the market. The KCC intends to auction spectrum in the 700MHz band during the second half of 2015, which will enable existing operators to become ready for 5G introduction, besides equipping them to offer superior quality broadband services.

– South Korea is the third largest telecom services market in the Asia-Pacific region, after Japan and China, with estimated revenue of US$44.8bn, or 3.1% of nominal GDP in 2015. 

– Pyramid Research expects telecom service revenue to reach $53.8bn in 2020 (a 3.7% CAGR), as price competition will remain intense and the adoption of fixed/mobile convergent services will increase pressure on total market revenue. 
– The revenue mix will continue to be dominated by mobile services due to ongoing investments in 5G and the advancement of LTE technology by all three operators (SK Telecom, KT and LG U+) in the coming years. Fixed and mobile data revenue will account for 59% of total revenue in 2020, up from 50.2% in 2015. 

– The top two operators – SK Telecom and KT (including its pay-TV subsidiary SkyLife), which provides mobile, broadband, TV and fixed voice services – will together account for 74% of overall service revenue in 2015. All operators are focusing on investments, network modernization and multiplay offerings to compete in a challenging environment.

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