Technical innovation and 3.5 mobile phone generation: Lessons from Korea

Bong Gyou Lee, Jeong Ho Kwak, Ki Youn Kim, Seong Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In 1996, the Korean mobile communication market was the first in the world to commercialize the code division multiple access (CDMA). Since then, the voice-based mobile phone market has continued to grow and has now reached near saturation. Having recognized the potential of the mobile data service as a new source of profit, telecommunication operators are scrambling to evolve 3.5 generation (3.5G) technology in order to lead market competition. Recently, the Korean 3.5G mobile telecom market has faced stiff competition from CDMA-based EVDO Rev.A and global system for mobile telecommunications (GSM)-based high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA). In addition, the world's first wireless LAN-based wireless broadband internet (WiBro) service was commercialized in June, 2006. This paper reviews the current status of the 3.5G technology and analyzes the service standardization strategies from the viewpoint of technological evolutions. This paper also suggests implications for Korea's specific circumstances where different mobile telecom technologies complement and compete with one another. Korea's experiences may serve as important lessons for other countries or operators who try to introduce the 3G and look beyond mobile telecom technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-308
Number of pages13
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Korea, under the Communications Policy Research Center (CPRC) support program supervised by the Institute for Information Technology Advancement (IITA; IITA-2009-(C1091-0901-0007)).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Information Systems
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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