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The revenues from telecom and pay-TV services in South Korea are anticipated to undergo substantial growth, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% between 2023 and 2028. This surge is attributed to the robust expansion observed in the mobile data segment during this period.

Increasing Data and 5G Subscription Demand

According to the South Korea Telecom Operators Country Intelligence Report, the income generated from mobile data services is predicted to increase at CAGR of 17.6% throughout the forecast period. This surge is being driven by a rising demand for data as well as the quick uptake of 5G subscriptions, which has led to an increase in the average revenue per user (ARPU) for mobile data.

Aasif Iqbal, a telecom analyst, noted that the inevitable transition from 4G network to 5G network is the main driver of this growth, “5G will increase rapidly to reach 78.7% in 2028, supported by a strong focus on 5G network expansions and service improvements by telcos and the local government. The South Korean government aims to ensure consistent 5G access throughout the country, including rural areas and remote islands, by the end of 2024.”

Declining Voice Service Revenue

On the other hand, voice service revenue in the fixed communication services segment is expected to decline due to a decrease in the ARPU of fixed voice services, as well as subscriber losses in the voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and circuit-switched segments. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that income from fixed broadband services will expand marginally at a CAGR of 0.4%, driven by the growing usage of FTTH/B services.

“Growing demand for higher-speed broadband connectivity and efforts to expand fiber-optic network infrastructure across the country will support growth in fiber broadband service adoption over the forecast period,” Aasif added.

Pay-TV Paves the Way

Despite potential challenges in the pay-TV business, South Korea is expected to witness a modest increase in income from pay-TV services, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.6% from 2023 to 2028. IPTV subscribers are expected to steadily increase, which will compensate for the decline in cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) subscriptions.

Furthermore, SK Telecom is expected to maintain its position as the market leader in the mobile services industry during the forecast period. With its strong presence in the FTTH segment and strategic content library growth efforts in the pay-TV services segment, KT is predicted to dominate the fixed voice, fixed broadband, and pay-TV segments in 2023.

Major industry players are getting ready to capitalize on the shifting customer preferences and the expanding technical landscape as South Korea continues to advance its telecom and pay-TV landscape.


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