SK Telecom CEO Park Jeong-ho said that the company will invest a total of 11 trillion won (US$9.17 billion) over the next three years to build the new information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystem. It has decided to make an aggressive investment in future businesses, such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicle and the Internet of Things (IoT).
SK Telecom said on January 11 that it will spend 5 trillion won (US$4.17 billion) to crate the new ICT ecosystem and develop new industry and 6 trillion won (US$5 billion) to establish future networks, including the ultra-fast fifth-generation (5G) mobile network, in the next three years.
Park, who attended the CES 2017 right after assuming presidency earlier this year, discussed With Samsung Electronics Co., Nvidia Corp. and Intel Corp. possible cooperation in the fields of AI, self-driving and the IoT.
SK Telecom labeled the new ICT ecosystem as a full-scale open system that creates new value by converging various technologies and services, such as AI, big data and IoT. The company will focus on six sectors – AI, big data and storage, autonomous and connected car, smart home, energy management, technology-based media service and global content. These are projects that have been pushed ahead by SK Telecom as the company seeks to turn into a platform operator. It is expected to make a more aggressive move in the future.
Openness and cooperation are what SK Telecom marked with a side dot. The company believe that there are limits to deal with the fourth Industrial Revolution, which represents “convergence,” to itself. Park said, “SK Telecom should establish a new ICT ecosystem through openness and collaboration, not by itself.” To this end, the company has decided to open the door of partnerships to foreign companies, venture companies and startups as well as even its competitors. It has also announced its plans to create a synergy between ICT firms of the group, such as SK Telecom, SK Holdings C&C and SK Hynix.
In addition, the company will open the so-called IoT Open House to provide developers and startup businesses comprehensive support services and establish its venture nurturing center to aid domestic startups in communication and infrastructure businesses. SK Telecom also plans to expand the “T Developers,” a developer support channel currently operating, and foster experts by connecting with universities.
SK Telecom is set to invest 6 trillion won (US$5 billion) in the network business for three years. It means that the company will not decrease the investment in network facilities, though the relevant investment has been on the decrease after completing the construction of the nationwide LTE network in 2012. SK Telecom has so far invested some 2 trillion won (US$1.67 billion) every year. However, the company made a cumulative investment of 1.17 trillion won (US$971.81 million) until the third quarter last year. The figure was about 55 percent of its annual investment target.