Digitimes Research: Top-3 Korea fixed-network players vary in marketing strategies

Ricky Tu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

The top-three high speed fixed network communications firms in South Korea have adopted different marketing strategies to attract customer patronages, with the leading player Korea Telecom (KT) offering better broadband connection quality and a more complete array of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) channels, according to Digitimes Research.

Against KT having the largest user numbers for both high speed fixed network communications and IPTV services, SK Broadband (SKB) is trying hard to solicit more customers with prices lower than offered by KT and highlighting the full-HD feature of all its channels, while LG U+ is actively attracting the group of viewers with less viewing time and budget by offering the lowest prices and fewer channels, Digitimes Research report showed.

In terms of high speed fixed-network communications services, the three operators mainly provide three connection speeds of services - 100Mbps, 500Mbps and 1Gbps - and they render basic, advanced and high levels of IPTV services in accordance with the numbers of available channels. Of the three firms, KT collects the highest charges for the three connection speeds of services, SKB and LG U+ offer lower service rates for the 100Mbps services, but their service charges for 500Mbps and 1Gbps segments are not remarkably lower than KT's.

As far as the number of IPTV channels is concerned, KT offers 215 channels for basic-level services, 225 channels for advanced-level services, and 246 for high-level services, compared with the 130-215 number range provided by SKB and 84-172 by LG U+. Monthly charges taken by KT are higher than those required by the other two rivals for offering a more comprehensive network of IPTV channels.

SKB's monthly charges for three levels of IPTV services are lower than KT and higher than LG U+, but its channels are all full-HD ones, including more UHD (ultra high definition) channels than those available at KT and LG U+, indicating the company showing greater regard for higher definition.

Offering fewer channels, LG U+ demands lower charges for all the three levels of IPTV services than the other two players, seeking to attract specified consumer groups.