After learning about forecasting in class I found it a compelling subject. What I was most interested in was how it was used in business. After doing some research I found a lot of information on how South Korea is using their forecasting to increase sales and productivity in the cell phone industry. South Korea is using forecasting to predict an incredible increase in 4G LTE phone usage.
Currently, the United States has more users engaging in 4G mobile technology, but South Korea has a higher percentage of users, at about 14% right now, compared to 4% in the United States. This is expected to more than double in the next couple of months. South Korea expects the LTE users to be around 15 million by the end of the year, and be over 33 million by the end of 2013. This forecast predicts that this new technology will give South Korean LTE users the ability to download media faster than any other country.
This impressive usage forecast is predicted not only because South Korean technology users demand the best, but it is so great because many cell phone companies are offering large subsidies for 4G devices, and fading out the old non-4G devices, leaving users the only choice to purchase the new, faster technology.
This could be an major change in the 4G LTE market and in the cell phone industry if this growth does happen, which assumingly would not only take place in South Korea, but also in many other countries around the world. What I find most limiting for this forecast is the amount of infrastructure that will need to be installed to run this large amount of LTE service. Will the world, or more specifically South Korea, be able to handle this enormous increase?
4 thoughts on “South Korea’s Mobile Technology Forecast”
I believe that rather South Korea is ready or not they are going to have to roll with the changes and adjust. It seems that daily in my personal life everyone s getting a new phone that is 4g capable. the trend is moving at a rampant pace and everyone is jumping on the band wagon. For those who have yet to tap into the 4G market i would say your experiencing cultural lag and as the article says soon enough you won’t have a choice but to get with the program and join the 4G revolution.
Unless South Korea’s 4G vendors implement extravagant sales incentives for their 4G devices to consumers or lobbies their governing body to legally require 4G usage, this current sales forcast seems ambitious. Only very large companies, most likely corporations, with vast amounts of capital would be able to partake.
A product’s usage among an entire country’s population would probably largely depend on cost and accessibility. Therefore, the realization of this forcast would require a very large investment, involving attrative product pricing and infrastructure considerations to increase product accessibility, as you have pointed out. The latter may also require government cooperation. Considering this project may lead to anti-trust issues or a virtual monopoly, politics would probably also play a large role. If the South Korean government prefers to control competition, then this cooperation may be easy to achieve.
These vendors may accrue more profit over the new few years, if they extend these project deadlines. However, investing in infrastructure now, may establish a large market interest for these vendors over many more years, which they may not have access to later. Ultimately, only if a company has the capital to invest and governemnt cooperation, then this forcast would be achievable.
It may not be as difficult to handle the increased user load as you may think. For one thing, there are varying opinions of what exactly “4G” is, as is nicely explained in this article: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/03/_4g_vs_3g_beware_of_the_murkiest_most_confusing_labels_in_tech_.html
As is stated in the article, many companies are claiming 4G technology, while really only offering upgrades to 3G. Also, many times 4G products are actually not faster than 3G. Clearly, the 4G “revolution”, as Nicolas puts it, is not much of a change after all.
That being said, if there are any countries that can handle a massive increase in technology and infrastructure, South Korea would be at or near the top of that list. South Koreans spend a lot more time using digital devices than even Americans do, and their culture is even more technology-focused than ours. There are a lot of examples of this, including the one mentioned in this article of a higher percentage using 4G, but also friend of mine is really into the online game Star Craft, and he told me that one of the highest rated primetime shows for them is head to head matches in this game. Star Craft is like the NFL for them! So I have no doubt that South Korea can handle the increase.
I should mention that the article did state an increase in 4G segments specifically stated as “LTE,” which is what this article is about. However, even then there were some differences in speed.