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Internet portal to be launched soon in Korea
Posted: 22-Mar-2000 [Source: The Korea Herald]

[Neopoint Inc. gets ready to launch in Korea as the company holds talks with wireless operators and content providers.]

by Kim Hoo-ran -- "A new wireless Internet portal service that could broaden the wireless Internet choices offered through the country's five wireless operators will soon be launched in Korea.

"The service, developed by the maker of Web-enabled smartphones, NeoPoint Inc., eliminates the need for individual wireless operators to come up with their own wireless Internet service because its technology allows existing contents to be automatically formatted to support the different handsets regardless of markup language used.

"Another unique feature of the service is that it supports all forms of wireless digital services including CDMA (code division multiple access) and GSM (global system for mobile communications). Although this feature is irrelevant in Korea, as the nation adopted CDMA as the sole standard, it is a huge advantage in countries such as the United States where multiple standards exist.

"At the moment, wireless Internet users are limited to contents provided by their wireless service company. In fact, it is consumer demand for more diverse wireless Internet services that will compel the wireless operators to provide service in addition to their own wireless Internet services.

"Wireless operators will continue to stick with their own wireless Internet service to attract customers, but consumers will want more choice," said William Son, NeoPoint CEO, in explaining why wireless telecom companies will sign up with

"However, having wireless operators as partners will not be an absolute necessity as the site can be accessed by all carriers, according to Son. The company is holding talks with all five wireless operators and about 100 content providers.

"In Korea, service will go into trial service in early May to be followed by commercial launch in the summer. The company expects to have ironed out all the technical requirements so that a sudden surge in demand will not overload the system, said Son.

"The service is currently on trial in the United States and Canada. While the price for data services is significantly higher than that for voice calls, the charges for both services could be similar in Korea, according to Son.

"Wireless Internet is still a relatively new term and looking at the United States and Korea, the Korean market may see more rapid uptake of the wireless Internet and m-commerce," observed Son. This is because already half of the Korean population use wireless handsets and nationwide coverage is available, he explained.


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