South Korea's advanced networks and strong manufacturing base are turning the country's mobile phone market into one of the most sophisticated in the world.
"Comprehensive value-added services, including mobile banking, mobile finance transactions, mobile wallet, multimedia and location-based services, have all been introduced and are well accepted among Korean mobile users," said Jill Meyers, an analyst with research firm In-Stat.
The country's mobile carriers have all rolled out high-speed CDMA200-1X EV-DO networks, and are exploring new technologies like WiMax and HSDPA. South Korean consumers can choose between almost 500 different phone models.
"This technologically advanced environment has spurred mobile vendors to develop premium and high-end handsets to support video call and music download services," said ABI Research senior analyst Andy Bae in an interview last year.
More than 16 million phones were sold to the country's 49 million citizens last year, according to In-Stat.
"South Korea leads the world in the adoption of mobile entertainment features and services," said Michael Cai, of US research firm Parks Associates, in July.
"Manufacturers have been able to take that experience and translate it into success in the American market, balancing good design and advanced feature sets with reasonable costs."
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