September 10, 2008

South Korea: Telecoms to Run Trial Services of TV Via Broadband

Text of report in English by South Korean news agency Yonhap

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) - Three South Korean telecom companies are scheduled to begin providing television programmes over high- speed Internet connections in a trial run, the nations's telecommunications regulator said Wednesday.

The companies - KT Corp., Hanarotelecom Inc and LG Dacom Corp. - will begin the trial run of their Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services, channelled through broadband connections, starting next week, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a statement.

The companies will provide television services via broadband to between 100 and 200 households each. They are to relay programmes from broadcasters such as KBS and EBS, along with other video-on- demand programmes.

The three companies were awarded licenses last week for the service and are also required to launch full-fledged commercial products of the service by the end of March next year.

The trial run is aimed at reviewing the efficiency of real time broadcasting through their broadband networks and other measures aimed at quality assurance, the KCC said.

KT is the nation's largest operator of broadband Internet service, followed by Hanarotelecom and LG Dacom.

The three operators also sell fixed-line telephone services, and have been looking to launch the IPTV service - which allows people to view television content via computer networks - to make up for declining phone business and draw new revenue sources.

South Korea is one of the world's most wired nations, with more than two-thirds of the country's homes connected to high-speed Internet.

Originally published by Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0511 10 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.