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SK Telecom adopts service platform strategy as its seeks to create future value

SK Telecom Flickr cc rphua

© Flickr/CC-licence/rphua

Korea’s SK Telecom has announced a new corporate strategy aimed at “sustaining growth amid a rapidly changing business environment. The telco’s CEO, Jang Dong-Hyun, said that it would focuses on three separate “next-generation platforms,” which he described as “a new type of platform that creates an open ecosystem powered by SK Telecom’s telecoms assets and provides customers with innovative products and services by anticipating their needs.”

The three platforms are: a Lifestyle Enhancement platform, Advanced Media platform and an IoT Service platform. Each will be developed with a range of external partners, including VC companies, start-ups and SMEs, with the intention of looking at service needs from the users’ point of view.

The company wants to reach a total market value, including its subsidiaries, of $92bn by 2018. The telco itself and its subsidiaries is valued at $21bn today (or $54bn when you add in chip-maker SK Hynix). According to Jang Dong-Hyun, it is adopting this strategy “to overcome limitations facing the telecoms industry.” What these limitation are exactly, he did not say, but believes that building an enriched ICT ecosystem, whilst also strengthening its network operation capabilities, is the way to go.

  • The Lifestyle Enhancement platform will be run by its new “T Valley” division and will develop new business models relevant to customers’ lifestyles, such as shopping, home, security, finance and education.
  • The Advanced Media platform will expand its existing media services and look to develop personalised solutions, including so-called “narrowcasting” that will be optimised for each individual based on in-depth data analysis. It has a target of 15 million users by 2018.
  • Finally, it will develop its IoT Service platform for solutions for individuals and enterprise customers.

As well as the three new platform businesses, SK Telecom will launch a Smart Home service next month, which enables users to control home appliances, including dehumidifiers, door locks and heating systems, via their smartphones. The service will run on the Mobius open IoT platform, and will later be upgraded to what it describes as a “Total Home Care” service with the addition of other IoT features, including home security and surveillance. The telco also plans to expand its Lifeware business, which focuses on smart devices.

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