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Korea's Wireless Internet Economy Amounts to 2% of GDP
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Korea's Wireless Internet Economy Amounts to 2% of GDP
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • March 4, 2015, 06:44
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The proportion of wireless Internet to GDP in the nation is expected to grow 10 percent each year, and the amount is likely to approach 45 trillion won (US$41.0 billion) in 2017. 

According to a report made public by Google Korea and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on March 3, Korea's wireless Internet economy in 2013 totaled US$28 billion (31.7 trillion won), which amounted to about 2 percent of the nation's GDP. The report, called Growth of Global Mobile Internet Economy, was made based on research results of 13 countries' wireless Internet economy worldwide. The total earnings of those countries from wireless Internet is projected to grow 23 percent each year to reach US$1.55 trillion (1720.35 trillion won) by 2017. 

Korea is expected to grow somewhat slowly, since the U.S., China, and some other European countries are likely to grow around 25 percent. However, the nations' growth potential is said to be sufficient. 

Korea is forecast to see the ratio of wireless Internet to GDP grow 10 percent per year to top US$40 billion (44.39 trillion won) in 2017.

The nation's mobile transactions in the financial technology (fintech) sector are projected to grow 15 percent each year to reach US$7 billion (7.7 trillion won) by 2017.  

The mobile Internet economy reportedly had a positive effect on the retail industry last year. Profits from mobile transactions increased more than 15 percent in 2014, which totaled US$4.5 billion (4.95 trillion won).  

Choi In-hyuk, a partner at BCG, said, “Thanks to rapidly-growing mobile shopping and advertisement, apps, content, and services will become important driving forces that will lead to growth in the future.” He added, “The Korean economy was able to grow by making products. However, over the next 30 years, the mobile economy will be a way that the country can prove itself as a source of intangible goods.” 

In particular, start-ups in the nation are expected to be more successful with the revitalization of the wireless Internet economy.

Data from the BCG shows that the number of local app developers for Android has tripled over the past two years, and thus Korea has become one of the top five countries for Android OS development.

“Instead of large companies, small and medium-sized firms or multinational enterprises are involved in the field of the Internet of Things and wearable devices,” remarked Jeong Ji-hoon, professor of the Department of Mobile Convergence Technology at Kyung Hee Cyber University. He concluded by saying, “The smart watch market is being formed by venture firms as they become more connected with multinational companies.”