Page 2: On the Hot Seat with KTF’s Byungki Oh

FierceWireless: Mobile advertising has been getting a lot of ink in the press lately. Is that true in Korea, too? Any other services worth mentioning?

Oh: Mobile advertisements are not yet a big thing in Korea, but we think it will be soon. As will location-based services. Mobile broadcasting with DMB on-demand will, too. Most of these convergence services will be good opportunities for us. Another one is mobile healthcare applications: those will be successful. That’s where you use a mobile device as a means to deliver critical medical information in case of medical emergencies.

Also using RFIDs in mobile phones is another trend that we're watching. Combine RFID and mobile Internet capabilities and you can use this in many different areas. We can put RFIDs in wine bottles and use an RFID reader in the phone to get information on that vintage of wine. But that is actually not coming soon because the infrastructure still needs to be rolled out and these types of services take time to develop handsets that can facilitate the services. That's still a few years away.

As a judge for the upcoming GSMA Mobile Innovation Awards in Macau, what are you looking for from the contenders? What kinds of companies do you think can impact these trends or start new ones?

Oh: I can only say in general terms: I'm looking for sound business models and creative and innovative ways to provide services. You also need to have a good user interface and ease of use. Another key factor is that the application or service requires minimum changes to the handsets. If you look at the most successful or most popular services today those are the ones that required fewer changes to the handsets. For example, ringback tones are based in the network, that's why they became so popular in Korea. More than 40 percent of KTF's subscribers subscribe to ringback tones. So you need unique business models and minimal changes to the handset to succeed.
Page 2: On the Hot Seat with KTF’s Byungki Oh