KakaoTalk’s free calls put fear in mobile providers
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KakaoTalk’s trial launch Monday of a free phone call service generated heated attention from Korea’s smartphone users yesterday, while mobile carriers howled in protest, knowing their profits could erode and wash away.The service is called Voice Talk, and the top search phrase on the nation’s largest portal site Naver was “KakaoTalk free phone call”. Web communities were flooded with questions and answers about how current Kakao users could upgrade their apps to get it.Voice Talk works on both the Android and iOS operating systems, and it works through 3G phone service and over Wi-Fi. SK Telecom and KT, the two largest mobile service operators, complained that Voice Talk is “free riding” their Internet networks using the mobile voice over Internet Protocol (mVoIP). They urged the Korea Communications Commission to restrict the service, and warned that its use could boomerang on subscribers by forcing the providers to raise phone bills. Charges for phone calls are the main source of revenues for mobile phone service operators.”The spread of mVoIP will harm industry progress, cause convenience to users and harm the national interest”, said SK Telecom in a release. “It will drag down mobile service operators’ profitability, which will in the long run result in a deterioration of service quality from monthly charge hikes and reduced investment in infrastructure”.The telecommunication arm of SK Group proposed that the government come up with countermeasures as soon as possible. “If immediate government-level measures can’t be devised, market-level measures should be enforced”, it said. As an example of a market-level measure, the company cited a hike in the base rate for using providers’ services. Free call services are not new. Skype has been around since the dawn of smartphones, and Daum Communication’s MyPeople application launched an mVoIP service in February 2011.But KakaoTalk is much more of a threat. Its instant message service has 35 million domestic users, almost 70 percent of the Korean populace.In fact, mobile service providers are already limiting mVoIP. KT, for example, allows only 3G subscribers paying 54,000 won ($46) or more in basic monthly fees to use mVoIP. It restricts the data usage for free calls to 750 megabytes per month. Given that one megabyte corresponds to one minute of a phone call on a 3G network, users could make more than 12 hours of free phone calls monthly. The more expensive monthly fees become, the more mVoIP hours allowed. Both KT and SK Telecom have engineered their networks to prevent free Internet phone calls for subscribers paying less than the designated amount monthly and restrict the amount for others. LG U+, a third-tier player, bans mVoIP entirely.The carriers say their billing systems will have to be revised because they didn’t anticipate the strong emergence of mVoIP. The KCC is in an odd position, having to consider both consumers and the mobile carriers. “We are discussing a variety of measures concerning Kakao’s free calls”, said an official with the KCC’s Competition Policy Department. “But we are not in a situation to instantly reach a conclusion and take action”.Meanwhile, Lee Sir-goo, CEO of Kakao, told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday that mobile carriers are “making an excuse for elevating phone charges with KakaoTalk’s free calls. Voice Talk cannot replace mobile voice calls. It’s disconnected frequently while the user moves. It’s not an alternative but a complementary method for making mobile calls.”By Seo Ji-eun
“Secret Love Affair” actress Kim Hee Ae receives love calls from various companies
47-year old actress Kim Hee Ae has been receiving various love calls for drama projects, movies as well as with endorsements. Kim Hee Ae’s movie Elegant Lies (Thread of Lies) premiered only just last month and has already surpassed over 100 million viewers. Moreover, her drama Secret Love Affair also premiered on JTBC last month. The drama’s interesting plot about a romance between a young man and an older woman which have gotten involved into a secret love affair has been receiving positive feedbacks from the viewers and took off to popularity...
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Boi B of RHYTHM POWER Joins the Army on April 15 and Releases Free Solo TrackTags : Dawn, Dia, Joo, Korean, official, usa yoona kakaotalk id werewolf boy korean movie free online watch Wolf Boy korean movie online free watch werewolf boy korean movie online free watch werewolf boy korean movie eng sub online free watch star king eng sub online free watch secret love korean movie online free watch role play korean movie online free watch my ps partner online free watch my ps partner korean movie online free
Hip-hop group RHYTHM POWER member Boi B joined the army today. Boi B announced his enlistment through his Twitter account the day before, on April 14. Boi B wrote: "Many of you know this because I announced this in our January concert, but I will join the army tomorrow. I"ll stay healthy and come back with better and improved music". He continued: "RHYTHM POWER will still continue to release their music without me...