SK Telecom is expanding its mobility business overseas through “T MAP” ranking first among mobile navigation map services in Korea.
On January 30, SK Telecom announced that it signed an agreement to set up Grab Geo Holdings (JB), a joint venture in Singapore with Grab, the largest shared car company in Southeast Asia.
Grab which join hands with SK Telecom this time is the largest vehicle-sharing company in Southeast Asia that operates services for taxis, motorcycles and limousines in 336 cities in eight countries including Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. In the shared car industry, Grab is the third largest player following DiDi in China and Uber in the US.
The joint venture plans to launch a T Map based navigation service for Grab users in Singapore for the first time in the first quarter of 2019. The Grab-specializing T Map navigation system not only provides guidance to grab drivers, but also road conditions such as traffic congestions.
To this end, SK Telecom will provide core technology and infrastructure for T Map such as big data analysis algorithm which analyzes vehicle and road information and traffic situation, and precise positioning solutions while Grab road information and map data of each nation in Southeast Asia.
The joint venture plans to extend its coverage to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam after providing the navigation service first to Singapore's Grab car sharing service users. SK Telecom will explore new B2B business in Southeast Asia based on Grab's vehicle sharing business and the joint venture's know-how in map and navigation services.
SK Telecom and Grab decided to set up the joint venture as SK Telecom wanted to develop overseas markets by departing from domestic market-oriented telecom services and Grab wanted to secure map and navigation services exclusively for its services. Google Map can hardly support Grab-specialized service because it cannot be changed or expanded.
"Grap is employing the core strategy of “hyper-localise” based on regional characteristics such as adding information and data on new roads in East Asia every day," said Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab. “A combination of SK Telecom's map and navigation technology and Grab’ local data will be a great help to this strategy."