KakaoTalk’s free calls put fear in mobile providers

KakaoTalk’s free calls put fear in mobile providers

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KakaoTalk’s free calls put fear in mobile providers

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

Xiu Min has stunned people when saying that he and and EXID′s Hani looked like the characters in the popular movie called ′Crime Scene 2′

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Xiu Min  has  stunned  people when  saying  that  he  and   and EXID′s Hani   looked   like the  characters   in the  popular  movie called   ′Crime Scene 2′

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EXO′s Xiu Min and EXID′s Hani will come out on Crime Scene 2 as two people in the middle of ′some.′

On May 13, jTBC′s Crime Scene 2 will air the ′Cruise Murder Case′ with Xiu Min as the special guest. . ... Read more

KARA release tracklist and album preview

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KARA release tracklist and album preview

KARA release the tracklist and highlight medley of their upcoming 7th mini album “In Love” for fans to get a hint of what they are showcasing this time.

The album includes a total of six tracks including their title track “Cupid” and others such as “Starlight” , “Just Then”, “I Luv Me”, “Peek-a-Boo”, and “Dreamlover”.. ... Read more

Suzy appreciates the beauty of nature in Jeju Island

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Suzy appreciates the beauty of nature in Jeju Island


miss A”s Suzy reveals new photoshoot taken in Jeju Island.

Check out the photos below













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“We Got Married” Producer has stunned people when annoucning the departure of Song Jae Rim and Kim So Eun from the popualr show

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“We Got Married” Producer  has  stunned  people   when annoucning  the  departure  of  Song Jae Rim and Kim So Eun   from  the  popualr show

While a recent report was released stating that Song Jae Rim and Kim So Eun would be saying goodbye to “We Got Married,” the producer of the show has denied such rumors. . ... Read more

Lets take a look at the amazing album called “27″ of Sunggyu which is consist of the popular song composed by Nell’s Kim Jong Wan

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Lets  take  a  look at the  amazing   album  called “27″   of  Sunggyu  which is  consist  of   the popular song  composed  by  Nell’s Kim Jong Wan

INFINITE‘s Sunggyu will finally be returning as a solo artist next month with his new album “27.” It has been confirmed that his whole album was produced by Kim Jong Wan, the frontman of the indie rock band Nell, who is known for writing stunning and powerful songs with poetic lyrics. . ... Read more