RealTime IT News

Korea Telecom Joins Forces With Microsoft

Korea Telecom, the nation's largest telco, has formed a strategic alliance with Microsoft for various Internet-related businesses.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding late Friday for joint operations in a spectrum of Internet businesses. In doing so, Korea Telecom will utilize Internet-related technologies, contents and service know-how of the software giant, while Microsoft will take advantage of the Korean carrier's existing Internet infrastructure to carry forward businesses in the Korean market.

"With this alliance, we have gained an opportunity to realize Internet vision of both Korea Telecom and Microsoft," said an official of Korea Telecom.

The core businesses they will launch together include direct Internet access service from Microsoft's Windows Millennium, establishment of joint portal site through sharing of KT's HanMir and MSN of Microsoft, Web hosting for small enterprises, game portal service by utilizing Microsoft's Internet game technology and web TV service by linking set-top box onto TV.

In this connection, Windows users will be able to access the Internet without subscription to a local ISP. KT is planning to offer Internet access service at the price of 3 won (0.25 cents) per minute or 4,000 won (US$3.50) per month, which is quite a lower price than other narrow-band ISPs' services such as Chollian and Nownuri, according to Korea Telecom officials.

Industry analysts say that if the direct access service become available, local ISPs offering dial-up access service would be hard hit, noting that the companies might have to sharply lower monthly fees.

Also, the two companies will build an integrated portal service that allows users who signed up for Korea Telecom's portal site 'HanMir' to use MSN's services including Hotmail without additional registration.