Koreans to spend $58 billion on BcN


South Korean governement has chalked out a plan for a new broadband convergence network, that would need an investment of around $58 billion, reports The Korea Herald. “The Korean information and communication technology sector is heading toward a stagnant state and it needs to come up with strategies that could sustain annual growth rates in double-digits for the next decade. To achieve this, telecom companies must now look to combine its network-based applications with other industry sectors such as broadcasting and digital content,” KT Chief Executive Lee Yong-kyung told the daily.

Government is making a push for developing a network that makes 50-to-100 megabits per second connections common place. South Koreans believe that broadband is a big competitive tool in the new global economy and can help foster economic growth. The project, code named BcN is Korea’s effort to create a converged network that combines wired and wireless communication, broadcasts and data transmission. South Koreans estimate that the BcN is going to cost $58 billion in investment and will $50 billion in exports by 2010.

Part of the agenda is to make VoIP common place, and proliferate the WiBro standard based networks by 2006.

The government plans to allocate three licenses for WiBro in February next year after a three-month review period. The government also plans to further expand the market competition by adopting the mobile virtual network operator system, under which companies may buy airtime from network operators and resell the services as independent operators.

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