SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to bring metaverse to Europe
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are bringing the ifland metaverse to Europe and discussing to establish a joint venture to operate the new service, SK Telecom said Sunday.
Top executives from the companies, along with executives from SK Square, met to discuss tech partnerships in metaverse, cybersecurity and carbon emissions on Thursday at the German telecommunication company's headquarters in Bonn.
Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, and Claudia Nemat, an executive board member, were present, as were SK Square Vice Chairman Park Jung-ho and SK Telecom CEO Ryu Young-sang.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will start by introducing ifland in Germany by the end of the year. The service will later be expanded to other European countries, and the two companies will jointly market and promote ifland.
A joint venture is under discussion to be established by SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. It will oversee the operations of European ifland and will likely be led by the German company and be collaborating with other telecommunications companies on the continent. Details about the size of the investments were not disclosed.
"The two companies have been discussing the European launch of ifland since March, and Deutsche Telekom concluded that SK Telecom's service has the potential to bring out positive reactions from the European market," the Korean company said in a press release.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have been working closely since 2018, holding meetings attended by executives every year — though 2020 and 2021, they held video meetings due to the pandemic.
SK Telecom in 2019 invested $30 million in Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, a Deutsche Telekom investment firm. The German investment firm and Microsoft invested 16.8 billion won ($13.2 million) in One Store, the app store operated by SK Telecom, in June last year.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom established Techmaker, a 5G tech joint venture named, in January 2021, taking a 50-percent stake each.
"We have been working closely with SK Telecom to lead the future in innovative technology through our partnership," said Höttges in a statement.
SK Telecom, SK hynix and SK Square formed a tech alliance in January, promising to create a 1-trillion-won investment fund with outside investors to develop technologies related to advanced semiconductors, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the metaverse.
Thursday's meeting also led to the signing of a letter of intent between SK shiledus, a cybersecurity subsidiary of SK Square, and Deutsche Telekom's Deutsche Telekom Security subsidiary to jointly develop advanced cybersecurity technologies.
SK shieldus is 63 percent owned by SK Square. It recently canceled its plan to go public on the Korea Exchange this month citing "global economic issues," and said it will try again when market conditions become more favorable.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]