[Telecommunications] Smartphones, cloud computing speeding up innovations
Smartphone has become a very common word since iPhone was introduced in Korea. Number of smartphone user excelled 20 million last year, and three out of four mobile phone users is likely to enjoy it at the end of this year.
Looking into its penetration rate, the unprecedented booming of smartphone led Korea to be way ahead of the other countries. Having changed every aspect of our life, the gadget enabled us to lead our daily lives in a smart way. For an instance, we don’t have to wait for 5 minutes or more at the bus stop with the help of popular apps.
The wind of changes should be picking up in 2012. In my personal opinion, convergence, SNS, data traffic explosion and cloud computing are expected to infuse much vigor to strengthen it.
The popularization of smartphone is nourishing convergence market to grow, and telcos began to focus much effort on developing a whole new convergence service. “Kibot” is a good example. That is the convergence between robotics and communications for children. The humane toy reads books to children and takes care of them while their parents are away from home.
As shown at the case of Kibot, convergence allured any industry to join the ecosystem of ICT industry. It also created more job opportunity especially for the youth who is more familiar with IT skills than any other generation. The expansion of convergence market will be playing a favorable role in revitalizing our economy in sluggish mood.
Both of parliamentary election and presidential election are scheduled to be held this year. Through the last election for the Seoul Mayor, we witnessed how influential to voters SNS could be. It became common for politicians to display their opinions at the very first on SNS. Voters also made use of SNS to exchange their own feelings either for or against a candidate without any restriction on location, time, or censorship. As a result, two elections to be held will be reinforcing influence of SNS as an individual media.
As far as I know, mobile data traffic has grown over 20 times faster than smartphone, hence its explosion brought about a lot of issues to be discussed. Network neutrality is the most disputable one among them. It involved so many interested parties in assuming burden of explosive network traffic that it is not easy to reach some agreement. I’m afraid this year would be the year to narrow gap between telcos and non-telcos. That’s because the guideline was submitted by Korea Communications Commission and mobile carriers dropped unlimited data plans for LTE.
As ordinary feature phones evolved into smartphones, conventional computers have done into cloud computers. It implies that PCs and notebooks are no longer going along with smartphones. With the same view, innovators in ICT industry have tried to advance progress with cloud computing. Accelerating innovations, KT also established a joint-venture to diversify cloud service with Softbank. Cloud computing enabled smart devices to exchange more digital goods. It will be stimulating both of provider and consumer to be more interested in various contents and convergence.
In 2012, everybody still remains wondrous about how amazingly smartphones could be changing the world. Additionally, what adds more curiosity to our minds is how far cloud computing could be extending the horizon of our smart life. The one thing for sure is cloud computing must be speeding up the recent changes and innovations as mentioned before.
Yoo Tae-yol is the head of Economy & Management Research Lab at KT.