RealTime IT News

HP Strikes 3G Deal in South Korea

Just one week after its "2005: The Year for Mobility" launch, HP announced today it is expanding its overseas mobile services business with a new contract with South Korea's SK Telecom (SKT).

The announcement follows similar partnerships HP has with the Dutch-owned Vodafone Netherlands and Spain's TeliaSonera in the areas of multimedia messaging and service assurance.

SKT, a major carrier in one of the world's most "mobilized" nations, is looking to expand its third-generation network beyond its current pool of 18.8 million subscribers.

HP said it has installed the HP Mobile E-services Server, which is part of its Service Delivery Platform (SDP), into SKT's Next Generation Convergence Platform. With HP's help, SKT said it could now use a wide range of developers to create and deliver new voice and data services.

"Korea is one of the most demanding wireless markets in the world, and SKT wants its customers to be among the first to enjoy the full benefits of the mobile lifestyle," Myung Sung Lee, the senior vice president of SKT's Technology Strategy Group, said in a statement.

Joy King, director of worldwide marketing and communications of HP's network and service provider solutions unit, told internetnews.com that HP's advantage is the fact that its SDP is not tied down to any particular platform. This is because it is designed as a service-oriented architecture based on commercial Web services technologies, such as SOAP , UDDI and WSDL .

"Fundamentally, the software separates the APIs on the top and separates it from the mobile telephony underneath," she said. "We do not use a single set of partners because our operators want choice. So we try to remain as broad as possible so we can deliver into a network that makes sense for the carrier."

King added that SKT would be using HP's services to help target and segment its subscriber base.

"For example, you might think the 18- to 25-year-old demographic would pay for gaming and ringtones, whereas a business demographic would be more inclined to focus on messaging and communications," King said. "Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, HP is helping SKT create specific brands based on these services."

King said HP is helping the larger carriers by supplying them with third-party packages and then taking the responsibility for integration.

Along the same vein, HP used technologies from key partners Gemplus, InnoPath Software and mFormation Technologies to help debut its Mobile Device Management (MDM) software, which lets mobile operators and companies manage end-user handsets over a wireless network.

The package includes wireless terminal configuration, diagnostic service quality management and over-the-air Subscriber Identity Module management and similar device software management. For example, HP said MDM lets mobile operators apply software upgrades and correct firmware bugs without recalling devices.