[EDITORIALS]Hail, SamsungSamsung Electronics said it has made a comprehensive alliance with Europe’s Vodafone and the U.S. company Qualcomm for the development of a next-generation mobile phone.
The three industry leaders have joined hands and taken the initiative in the 3.5-generation mobile phone market.
The market for a technology known as HSDPA or High Speed Downlink Packet Access is expected to take shape next year. The technology can transmit video and audio files seven times faster than the current third-generation mobile phone technology known as WCDMA or Wideband Code Division Multiple Access.
Samsung, a manufacturer, Vodafone, a telecommunication service provider and Qualcomm, a chipmaker, are at the vanguard of their respective industries.
The basic structure of the alliance is that Qualcomm will supply HSDPA modem chips to Samsung Electronics, which will develop HSDPA mobile phones. The phone would then be exclusively supplied to Vodafone’s 170 million subscribers around the world.
Korea in the 1990s succeeded in developing CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access. Yet Korea failed to narrow the lead of Nokia in the European market. Under such circumstances, that Vodafone has chosen to form an alliance with Samsung Electronics rather than with a European phone maker has special meaning. For Samsung Electronics this is an opportunity to become the world’s best telecommunication equipment company.
The telecommunication business is risky. Ericsson, the world’s largest communications equipment company, came close to going under in 2003, while a U.S. telecommunication company, WorldCom, has completely vanished.
We hope that the comprehensive alliance will speed up the commercialization of the next generation of mobile phones and secure the initiative in the future. We hope Samsung Electronics will stand once again at the top of the world’s markets based on its resources and technical know-how.
Like automobiles and semiconductors, mobile phones are one of our country’s top three export items. Mobile phones, which accounted for 3.2 percent of Korea’s exports in 2000, are expected to reach 10 percent of all Korean exports this year.
Mobile phones are a strategic business that should not and cannot be given up. To secure the long-term prosperity of Koreans, the next generation mobile phone business must succeed.