Local mobile carriers wage brand war

Posted on: Koreaherald.co.kr

With key mobile communications technology gradually moving toward 3G from 2G, Korean mobile operators are going all out to promote their brand names. SK Telecom, the nation`s largest mobile carrier in terms of subscribers, recently began a special campaign, “mastering mobile communications,” to promote its T brand. The campaign is seen as an attempt to catch up with KTF`s 3G service SHOW, which is gaining popularity.

Previously, SKT`s 3G service was promoted under the name 3G+.

However, compared to KTF`s SHOW, which launched its 3G service with aggressive marketing in March, SKT`s 3G+ failed to gain much brand recognition, according to industry insiders.

The latest SK Telecom campaign emphasizes the video telephony service “T LIVE,” and the company will no longer promote 3G+, company officials said.

“The gist of the campaign is to introduce various services and technologies available in new (3G) mobile communications such as T LOGIN and T map. Especially, T LIVE will promote video telephony,” said SK Telecom spokesperson Cindy Kang.

At the same time, the mobile operator is sending out T brand TV commercials featuring popular actor Jang Dong-gun.

KTF, which beat out SKT for most 3G service subscribers in the first half, is also going all out to expand its SHOW 3G service.

KTF avoided using the company`s name in the SHOW logo to prevent an association with the perennial No. 2 carrier, perhaps helping SHOW attract 1.4 million subscribers as of July.

“The brand name war was started by KTF. Until it reaches its goal of attracting 1.8 million subscribers this year, it will continue its aggressive promotion of SHOW. In response, SKT will battle head-to-head because it cannot give in to KTF,” said Kim Kyung-mo, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

LG Telecom, the smallest operator, is also working on a new brand name.

“We don`t have a specific brand now but we`re preparing one after the launch of our new 3G service,” LG Telecom spokesperson Kim Bo-yeon said.

The company plans to launch a 3G service through their own platform – evolution data only revision A – or EVDO-rA, in the Seoul metropolitan area late this month.

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