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Forget the campus ID, just use your cell phone

Mobile telecom firms are offering services on campus.

Aug 20,2007
College campuses in Korea are very mobile-friendly, as chips embedded in cell phones take the place of student ID cards. There are also special rates for calls made on campus.
Lee Su-hyeon, a senior at Sookmyung Women’s University, uses her mobile student ID to record her attendance when she walks through the door of her lecture hall. The ID, however, is not a thin piece of plastic bearing her photo. It is a chip containing personal information that is implanted in her cell phone.
The phone/ID card can be used in many other ways as well. During class, Lee learns that she has to borrow some books related to the subject she is studying. She can spare herself a walk across campus by logging into the school’s library system using her cell phone, and can then borrow or reserve books digitally.
Similar services are also available through the school’s career development center, where students can access the list of job openings.
The three mobile telecom firms ― SK Telecom, KTF and LG Telecom ― are all offering a wide variety of services in liaison with college campuses.
In May, KTF began a test service of mobile access to school systems and Internet Web sites. While on campus, connection costs are free and students can check their grades or use other services usually available via computers with their mobile phone instead. The test service is being offered at 23 universities nationwide including Hanyang and Sookmyung universities.
Mobile-friendly also applies to fees, not just technology. KTF has a “Show Campus Zone” payment plan wherein subscribers calling each other from the same campus receive up to a 50 percent discount on their phone calls. The campus zone is not confined to the campus walls, but also includes the periphery of the campus.
“It’s not just for students, but for faculty, university hospital staff and all college-related personnel,” a KTF spokesman said.
SK Telecom also has a region-specific payment plan called TTL Regional Discount. In 18 designated college neighborhoods, such as Sinchon in Seoul, users get a discount on outbound calls from within that area.
LG Telecom has a Feel Good Zone Service, which includes university campuses and the surrounding neighborhood. If students living near campus install a small device at home, all cell phone calls from within a certain radius are charged as local landline calls, which are much cheaper.


By Lee Hyun-goo JoongAng Ilbo [wohn@joongang.co.kr]




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