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.

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