Cutting-dege services key to IT growth: minister

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Cutting-dege services key to IT growth: minister


Services, rather than the product, will be the driving force of Korea`s information and technology industry for the next decade, the country`s top information and communication policymaker said yesterday.
"Service is more important, it is more essential than the product industry," Chin Dae-je, minister of information and communication, told members of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea during a briefing on the outlook of the country`s information-communications technology (ICT) industry for the next decade.

The government has earmarked nine product areas as "growth engines." They include mobile telecommunication, such as handsets and related equipment; digital televisions and broadcasting devices; home network devices; IT system-on chip, next-generation PCs; embedded software; digital contents & software solutions; telematics devices; and intelligence service robot.

Citing the high-definition TV as an example, Chin stressed the importance of service over the product.

"We have to think about why you buy HDTV. You don`t take it to use it as furniture; you take it for the content. The service is more essential than the product," said Chin. "So we`re trying to roll out broadcasting and technology services earlier than other countries so we can accelerate and stimulate development in technologies and the industries."

He said the nine growth sectors were chosen because they are the fastest-growing areas in the industry, and because Korea is already actively involved in them. They are also seen as "cash cow businesses."

The minister pointed out that Korea has the infrastructure to support the development of the key growth engines. This involves active investments in broadband convergence network, ubiquitous sensor network and next-generation Internet protocol.

To encourage investment by the European Union member countries, Chin said Korea serves as an "ideal test-bed" market. Its large market teems with consumers in favor of innovative technology and products, thus giving the government an incentive to adopt aggressive rollout plans of new telecom and broadcasting services.

Having a world-class ICT industry and infrastructure also help make Asia`s third-largest economy an ideal test-bed market. The country also houses over 22,000 companies in IT-related businesses.

Of the global mobile handset market worth $106.6 billion, Korea accounts for $31 billion, or 28.8 percent.

Another promising area is the radio-frequency identification technology, or RFID. Chin said it will be a business worth $90 billion in 10 years. RFID involves the technology of identifying items using radio waves, through an electronic reader communicating with a microchip embedded on objects.

The chips hold information such as history of certain items. ICT investments by the European Union to Korea totaled $1 billion last year.


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