June 04, 1999 in Social Responsibility News

Mobile Internet Service, Now a Reality

SEOUL, Korea - June 4, 1999 - It is now possible to use the Internet with a cellular phone, without the need of a PC or PDA. Korea's 18 million wireless communications subscribers can search for information and engage in e-commerce on their own, creating a major breakthrough in the mobile communications industry.

AnyWeb, a mobile Internet service developed exclusively in Korea, was unveiled by the representatives of eight venture capital companies, hardware manufacturers, wireless service providers and content providers at the Shilla Hotel on June 3.

VIPs at the press conference included AI Net President Sang-woo Lee, Hansol PCS President Yong-moon Chung, Samsung Electronics President Jong-yong Yun, Samsung Securities President Hyun-gon Kim, Koram Bank President Dong-hyuk Shin and Asiana Airlines President Sam-gu Park.

AnyWeb will provide the same environment via a wireless handset that people now get with a PC. Internet access will be made easy through the networks of wireless communications carriers. Commercial service will be available from June 10 and it will now be possible to not only search through the Internet, but also make stock transactions, conduct online banking, purchase merchandise, make reservations and check the news while on the go.

As the technology was all developed locally. Korean companies can avoid paying costly royalties and service fees to overseas companies. The technology will set the domestic standard, advancing the Korean telecommunications industry and laying the groundwork for penetrating overseas markets.

The launching of mobile Internet service is expected to be a major boost for Korea's information and communications industry. Korean mobile communications service providers and hardware makers have been experiencing limits to their growth due to a rapidly saturating domestic market. Now, they can exploit the Internet phone market and expand use of radio waves. Related content providers will see their businkess stimulated as well. Hundreds of new venture capital companies and thousands of new jobs are expected to be created as a result.

In this connection, Samsung Electronics will provide the micro-browser for wireless handsets, e-commerce security software for handsets and servers, and S-HTML Internet language for wireless contents. The operators will offer service formats for providing automatic notification of special contents. AI Net has developed the mobile sites and the proxy server operating software. Samsung Securities, Koram Bank and Asiana Airlines are participating as content providers. They will work with AI Net to develop wireless sites, providing wireless e-commerce services that will be a step ahead of the competition.

Establishing dominance in mobile Internet service is the key in determining the future direction of the wireless service market. Microsoft, UP and WAP represent different camps in this regard, and they are fiercely competing with one another for market supremacy.

According to Dataquest, 2002 will mark the time when data communications begins to drive the growth of wireless communications. Samsung expects the number of Internet phones used in Korea is expected to reach 3.5 million units by 2001, representing half of the wireless phone market.

By September, AI Net, Samsung Electronics, Kornet Freetel and Hansol PCS plan to jointly establish an independent company to offer mobile Internet service. The handset-specific browser will be made available to all domestic handset makers to help stimulate growth of the wireless Internet market. This is expected to also open the door to this business for other wireless communications service providers.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 1998 sales revenue of 16.6 billion dollars (US), is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based firm has operations in more than 50 countries with 59,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business unfits: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. For more information, please visit our website, http://www.samsungelectronics.com

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