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KT Corporation

KT Corporation
Traded as KRX: 030200
Industry Conglomerate
Founded December 10, 1981 (1981-12-10)
Headquarters Seongnam, South Korea
Key people
Chang-Gyu Hwang (CEO)
Products Fixed line
mobile telephony
Internet services
digital television
Credit card
Real estate
Revenue KRW 20,166,817 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
32,186 (As of end of 2012)
Slogan Global No. 1 kt
Website /

KT Corporation (Hangul: 케이티 주식회사), formerly Korea Telecom, is South Korea's largest telephone company. The formerly state-owned firm is South Korea's first telephone company and as such it dominates the local landline and broadband Internet market, serving about 90 percent of the country's fixed-line subscribers and 45 percent of high-speed Internet users. After selling its wireless affiliate Korea Mobile Telecom in 1994, KT returned to the wireless market with the creation of PCS carrier KTF in 1996.

The company's 2009 merger with KTF, its wireless subsidiary, made it the country's ninth largest chaebol (conglomerate) with nearly 24 trillion won ($20 billion) in assets.[2]


  • Company overview 1
  • History and milestones 2
    • Before privatization 2.1
    • After privatization 2.2
    • After KT-KTF merger 2.3
  • Corporate governance 3
  • Services 4
    • Wireless 4.1
      • Smartphones and tablets 4.1.1
      • Wi-Fi hotspots 4.1.2
      • 4G LTE 4.1.3
      • GiGA LTE 4.1.4
      • TRS 4.1.5
    • Smart Home 4.2
    • uCloud 4.3
    • Mobile TV 4.4
  • Global business 5
    • Uzbekistan 5.1
    • South Africa 5.2
    • Mongolia 5.3
    • Brunei 5.4
    • Rwanda 5.5
    • Poland 5.6
  • KT-sponsored sports teams 6
  • Smart grid investment 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Company overview

Originally founded in 1981 as a public utility, KT actively led Korea's transition to the information era and played a key role in transforming Korea into a major information technology hub. As a state-owned firm, KT had the clout to influence changes to itself and Korean telecommunications industry as a whole; selling its wireless affiliate in 1994, founding another in 1996 and becoming, along with Dacom, one of Korea's earliest ISPs. In 2001 KT acquired struggling broadband provider Thrunet, then the largest broadband company in Korea, which paved the way for KT to dominate the broadband market.[3] In 2009, KT merged with its wireless subsidiary KTF, paving the way to the integration of landline and cellular services. Ever since KT introduced the Apple iPhone to South Korea, it has been constantly seeking new business area, such as media, e-commerce, and global business partnerships. The company has a well-distributed shareholder structure under which the National Pension Service (NPS) is the largest shareholder (6.81% as of December 31, 2012), but NPS holds no managerial rights over the company.[4] Under the current shareholder structure, no controlling shareholder exists.

History and milestones

Logo used from 1991 to 2001.

Before privatization

  • September 28, 1885: Telephone facilities set up between the cities Seoul and Incheon[5]
  • 1981: Company incorporated on December 10 as KTA[6]
  • 1984: Tenth in the world to develop the electronic switch TDX-1
  • 1987: Nationwide automated long-distance network completed [7]
  • 1991: Company renamed Korea Telecom
  • 1993: Total of approximately 20 million telephone lines installed (only 4.5 million existed in 1982), laying groundwork for the emerging information society
  • 1995: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 1 launched
  • 1996: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 2 launched
  • 1996: PCS and CT-2 license acquired. KT Freetel (wireless carrier) founded.
  • 1997:Status changed from organization which has 50%+ state funding to one with a state funding of smaller scale (below 50%)
  • October 1, 1997: The new Public Corporation Business Structure Improvement & Privatization Act applied to KT (no longer exempted owing to the change in company status)
  • 1998: Headquarters relocated from Jongno-gu, Seoul, to Bundang-gu, Gyeonggi Province
  • December 1998: Newly listed on stock exchange
  • 1999: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 3 launched
  • June 2000: Managerial rights of Hansol acquired
  • December 2000: IMT-2000 license acquired
  • April 2001: Caller ID (CID) service launched

After privatization

  • May 2001: Plans for privatization announced. Celebrated 20th anniversary and changed name from Korea Telecom to KT. KT’s telephone exchanges restructured into regional branch offices. "Let’s" launched as the new company slogan.
  • 2002: Privatization of company finalized.[8]
  • 2005: According to Fair Trade Commission data, KT as a corporate group that holds 12 subsidiaries and total assets of 29.315 trillion won, ranked 8th among Korea’s conglomerates.
  • December 28, 2005: Launched inter-Korean telecommunication services and opened KT branch office in North Korea’s Gaesung industrial complex
  • January 2009: Six days after inauguration as the new Chairman of KT, Suk-Chae Lee announced plans for KT-KTF merger at press conference
  • March 2009:[9] Received conditional approval from Korea Communications Commission (KCC) on KT-KTF merger
  • April 2009: Debut of Qook, a service bundle brand. “Ann” landline phone, “Megapass” broadband and “Mega TV” IPTV services were renamed “Qook Phone,” “Qook Internet” and “Qook TV,” respectively.

After KT-KTF merger

  • June 1, 2009: KT and its wireless subsidiary KTF merged to form a new unified KT
  • July 2009: Previous company slogan "All New" replaced with "Olleh Management,"and "Olleh KT" officially launched as the new CI
  • November 2009:[10] Launch of Qook and Show broadband services. Forecasted the advent of the smartphone era
  • November 2009: Became first local carrier to launch Apple’s iPhone in Korean market
  • December 2009: Launched the first 3W (Wi-Fi, WiBro, WCDMA) smartphone "Show Omnia" in Korean market
  • June 2010: Launched “uCloud,” a cloud-based storage service
  • August 2010: Company’s Internet services relaunched under the name "Olleh" in alignment with company slogan
  • August 31, 2010: KT included as Dow Jones Sustainability World Index company[11]
  • September 10, 2010: Launched Apple’s iPhone 4 in Korean market and unlimited 3G data plan[12]
  • November 11–12, 2010: As the official telecommunications service provider for the G20 Seoul summit provided the heads of states with powerful IT communication services.[13]
  • January 25, 2011: Fixed-line "Qook" and cellular "Show" broadband services were unified under the "Olleh" brand. They were renamed "Olleh Home" and "Olleh Mobile," respectively.[14]
  • February 10, 2011: Acquired 20.05% of BC Card shares, emerging as the second-largest shareholder.[15]
  • January 3, 2012 : KT launched its LTE service.[16]
  • September 2012 : kt was awarded the Global Supersector Leader for Telecommunications (World No. 1 company in terms of sustainable business practices) by Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for 2 consecutive years.[17]

Corporate governance

KT’s Board of Directors (BOD) consists of three non-independent directors and eight outside directors, totaling eleven directors as of March 2012. The outside directors are nominated by the Outside Director Nomination Committee based on their expertise and business leadership, and hold office for less than three years. The BOD chairman is selected from among the outside directors and serves for a one-year term. The BOD consists of five standing subcommittees and two ad hoc subcommittees. If required, additional sub-committees may be set up. The current internal directors are Chang-Gyu Hwang (Chairman & CEO), Hyeon-myung Pyo and Il-yung Kim, and the external directors are Eung Han Kim (Board Chairman), Chun-Ho Lee, Hyun-nak Lee, Byong-won Bahk, Keuk-je Sung, Sang-Kyun Cha, Do-Kyun Song.[18]



As of 2012 KT customers can receive the services on any of radio frequency band assigned, one or more of radio interfaces.[19]
frequency range Frequency
Generation Radio interface License Notes
800 MHz (811-817, 856-862) 12 TRS
850 MHz (819-824, 864-869) 26 10 3.9G LTE 50 billion won,[20] for 10 years (planned)
900 MHz (905-915, 950-960) 8 20 3.9G LTE
1800 MHz (1735-1740, 1745-1755, 1830-1850) 3 35 3.9G LTE
2100 MHz (1960-1980,2150-2170) 1 40 3.5G W-CDMA 130 billion won, for 15 years
2300 MHz (2330-2360) 30 3.9G WiBro 12.68 billion won, with rural area support,
for 7 years, until Mar 2019

Smartphones and tablets

KT was the first operator in Korea to introduce the iPhone, into the Korean market in November 2009.[21][22] The next generation model sold one million units within four months of its September 2010 launch. KT launched the iPad in November 2010.[23]

Wi-Fi hotspots

As of June 2015, KT owns and operates more than 140,000 Wi-Fi hotspots under the name "KT Olleh WiFi zones."[24]


KT discontinued 2G coverage in January 2012 in the Seoul area, and March 2012 in the rest of South Korea on the 1.8 GHz frequency, whichwill be reassigned for LTE network branded "Olleh LTE" (올레 엘티이)LTE coverage all over South Korea will be accomplished by June 2012. Dual-band LTE on the 900 MHz will be available in Seoul by the end of 2012.[25]


In June 2015 KT announced it has teamed up with Samsung to combine Wi-Fi and LTE in a gigabit-speed mobile service called GiGA LTE.[26] The new network is estimated to be 15 times faster than the existing LTE and four times faster than the tri-band LTE-A, the fastest wireless network currently available in the Korean market. [27]


KT is the only operator that provides TRS in South Korea, as it merged t-on Telecom in September 2012.

Smart Home

In the first half of 2011, kt launched the "Kibot", a robot specially developed for the education and entertainment of children, which has value-added features, such as more advanced versions of functionalities found on the existing video and Internet phones. In the second half of the year, kt plans to expand beyond voice services by actively pursuing Smart Home services, centering around a rich array of contents.


In June 2010, kt launched the uCloud, a cloud service that offers users access to a wide range of IT resources (i.e. infrastructure, platform, software), out of which users can selectively use and pay for just the resources they need. uCloud provides online cloud storage via both fixed-line and wireless networks. It can be accessed anywhere via portable devices, enabling users to download data wherever they are. "uCloud" is the name coined for KT’s cloud service, with the "u" standing for "ubiquitous" and simultaneously referring to customers in the second person as "you".

Mobile TV

kt launched the Mobile TV app, which enables customers to view live IPTV and video on demand on their smartphones and tablets.

Global business


In 2007, KT acquired 54.5% of East Telecom, Uzbekistan’s second-largest fixedline operator, and 60% of the shares of the WiMAX operator, Super iMAX.[28]

South Africa

In 2012, KT and Telkom signed for a consultancy agreement for providing business improvement strategies for mobile sector and iWayAfrica, Telkom’s subsidiary for its VSAT business.[29]


Since 1995, KT has been a major shareholder of Mongolia Telecom. KT dispatched business professionals to Mongolia and operated various training programs.[30] In 2012, KT contracted with the Mongolian government for establishing an Earthquake Disaster Warning System (EDWS).[31]


In 2012, KT contracted with the Brunei government to establish National Data Center (NDC) and its operation.[32]


In 2007, KT signed a contract to build a Mobile WiMAX (or WiBro) network in Rwanda.[33] In 2008, KT signed a deal with the Rwandan government to build the backbone its new telecommunication network.[34] In December 2012, KT conducted a national information security project in Rwanda with Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).[35] In March 2013, KT signed a contract with the Rwandan government to establish the joint venture to build a nationwide mobile LTE network.[36]


On March 21, 2013, KT, Daewoo International Corporation, and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) signed an $18 million contract to establish high-speed Internet network in Podlaskie, Poland.[37] On October 3, 2013, the KT consortium signed a Public Private partnership (PPP) with the Mazowieckie province for a $130 million broadband project.

KT-sponsored sports teams

Smart grid investment

Kt is currently involved in the Jeju Smart Place test bed project led by Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which is being pursued for the purpose of testing and developing smart grid business models. The project is being conducted on 6,000 households in Jeju island’s Gujwa-eup area, and is scheduled to be conducted over a period of 42 months from May 2009 to May 2013. The aim of the project is to provide an integrated energy management service and achieve the means for efficient energy usage by adopting renewable energy sources and energy storage devices. The project is being executed by the kt Consortium, which is composed of kt and 14 other companies, including Samsung SDI, Hyosung, Samsung Electronics, and four contractors, with the focus being to conduct demonstration tests on electric power-communication convergence business models.


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  5. ^ Ryu Hyun-Sung (2008). "The IT Myth Continues". Human Business, p.16. ISBN 978-89-92043-87-8
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hussain, Tariq (2006). "Diamond Dilemma." Translated by Lee Se-Min, Random House Korea, p.135. ISBN 89-5986-333-5
  9. ^ KT, Lee Suk-Chae appointed as...Personnel moves initiated today, Digital Times
  10. ^ KT Fixed-Mobile Convergence Services QOOK & SHOW Launched, Newsis.
  11. ^ Components – DJSI WORLD and DJSI WORLD EX US
  12. ^ KT launches unlimited 3G data services following WiFi services, Economy Today
  13. ^, kt Wonderful, Korea Wonderful
  14. ^ New Year Plan/2011 Business Strategy (3), KT, Focuses on Convergence and Enhancing Customer Satisfaction
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External links

  • Official website
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