Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Entaz MVNO, not really – South Korea

The Korea Herald reported that MNO KT Corp signed a deal to allow for the country’s first MVNO launch as early as January 2010. At this stage however it looks like the local news service has mistaken an advanced mobile application / content provider for an MVNO service.

Entaz will provide KT subscribers with a portal to download mobile content from and the cost of accessing the portal will be paid by the end user directly to Entaz. They are not offering a mobile service which would negate the need for the KT subscription, nor are they offering messaging, voice or any form of access to the KT network. They also do not provide SIM cards or handsets. This would be an MVNO in the loosest of possible terms. If users were able to access the portal with no subscription to any of the MNOs then this would be more akin to an MVNO, but at this stage this is not an MVNO.

However, this is a good sign for consumers in South Korea. It is a move towards opening up the mobile market beyond the control of the 3 MNOs. It is perhaps also an intelligent route for KT to have followed as it appeases the regulator to some degree while not providing for any attack and churn on its core revenues.