중앙데일리

Video on the go latest trick for Korean mobiles

New mobile systems promise faster data transfer and closer connections. through technology.

Apr 23,2007
A demonstration of a stock-trading service that will be available on KT’s Internet TV service, now under development. By Shin In-seop
Technology in the past has been considered impersonal, involving complicated terminology and cold, practical design. Science fiction movies prey on the fear of humans being dominated by robots, or of evil protagonists abusing technology to engage in mass destruction.
Although many of us still associate these images with the word “technology,” we actually use technology in the most intimate moments of our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. News about the latest NAND flash semiconductor chip may not be of much interest to the average Joe, but unbeknownst to him, that very chip will make his iPod small enough to take out when he walks the dog. Twenty years ago, joggers had to carry around Walkmans with cassette tapes.
One of the big trends in Korea this year is closer human connection through technology. Korea, one of the first countries to boast a high broadband penetration rate, began using its high-speed Net access to promote personal networking.
The third-generation mobile phone services growing popular this year are the best example yet. KTF began its 3G WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) service last year in the Seoul area and started a nationwide service on March 1, becoming the first company to offer such services.
Most current mobile technology receives information quickly but sends it slowly, but this technology features quick data exchange both ways, enabling real-time video interaction on the go. Its Show brand, which urges users to “show” their lives through mobile video, has been attracting younger buyers. Not only four times faster, its operation costs are just a quarter of the previous system. SK Telecom is also offering 3G WCDMA services, focusing on professional tools such as mobile conferencing.
Unlike Korean mobile phone services, which are ahead of the global curve, local Internet TV, or IPTV, services have been bogged down because of a territorial dispute between the broadcasting and telecom industries.
IPTV also aims at human interaction. Users will be able to watch TV, log onto the Internet and chat, talk with friends about a show you are watching together, or buy a product immediately and talk with a customer service agent. While watching a news program, viewers will participate in interactive polls, or pose questions to be used in interview shows.

Robots equipped with cameras enable video phone calls. Provided by SK Telecom
Although companies have developed IPTV technologies, authorities will not allow service to begin. The Information Ministry and Broadcasting Commission cannot decide whether IPTV should be regulated under broadcasting or communications laws. The National Assembly still has to pass laws this year on whether or not broadcasting and telecommunications organizations should be lumped together.


By Wohn Dong-hee Staff Writer [wohn@joongang.co.kr]



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