REDMOND, Wash., August 10, 2000 — People in Korea not only get the wireless Internet on their phones — they also use it. Microsoft and Korea Telecom Freetel (KT Freetel) Corporation today announced that more than a million KT Freetel customers are accessing their commercial wireless Internet services through phones powered by Microsoft Mobile Explorer. KT Freetel — which operates a nationwide digital voice messaging and data service network for wireless telecommunications in Korea — has distributed more than 1.2 million phones equipped with Mobile Explorer since the service launched in December 1999. Mobile Explorer is currently shipping in Korea on KT Freetel’s Neon phone as well as Hyundai Electronics’ GuliverMate.
Korea Telecom Freetel has distributed more than 1.2 million phones equipped with Mobile Explorer since the service launched in December 1999.
“We’ve seen an extremely high percentage of our customers with Microsoft Mobile Explorer-based phones using our service to connect to our value-added services, access the Internet or check their email,”
said J.Y. Song, vice president of KT Freetel.
“This is great news — not only because we enable customers to access the information they need any time and any place — but because from a business perspective they spend more time on their phones, which ultimately has a positive effect on our revenue.”
“We’re pleased by the early success of Mobile Explorer on KT Freetel’s network,”
said Kevin Dallas, director of Microsoft’s phone efforts.
“Korea is one of the most competitive markets in the world in terms of wireless services. We look forward to taking what we’re learning with KT Freetel and Hyundai and not only improving our solutions for them but also bringing those solutions to other markets around the world.”
Microsoft Mobile Explorer is Microsoft’s operating system-independent microbrowser, which enables secure corporate or personal access to email, personal information manager data, and the Internet when connected to a wireless network. KT Freetel chose to implement the first version of Mobile Explorer, which supports HTML content, because it enabled fast time-to-market for handset vendors as well as content developers. Microsoft recently released a version of Mobile Explorer that includes an email client along with the first dual-mode microbrowser that can display both HTML- and Wireless Markup Language (WML), which complies with the Wireless Applications Protocol (WAP) version 1.1 and provides a global standard for Internet access through handheld devices such as cellular phones. KT Freetel plans to migrate to this dual-mode version of Microsoft Mobile Explorer in the near future.
“From a handset perspective, we found that Mobile Explorer not only provided the functionality we were looking for, but it was also portable for prompt adoption in our phones,”
said Terry Ahn, director for KT Freetel.
From a content perspective, Mobile Explorer’s Internet-standard HTML support enabled our partners to leverage their existing content quickly. When we launched our commercial wireless Internet services late last year, we had almost 100 content partners. Today, we have more than 500. They’re providing services that include animated-picture downloads, emoticon messaging, location information services (about restaurants, hospitals, etc.), phone-ringer sound change services, and phone-pages similar to home-pages on the wire-line Internet.
Besides fast time-to-market, KT Freetel also chose Mobile Explorer because Microsoft was the only company that could provide the end-to-end wireless solution they were looking for. Additional technologies adopted by KT Freetel include Microsoft’s MCIS server, SQL Server and other BackOffice products.
Microsoft and KT Freetel have been working together since June 1999, when they announced a joint proposal to accelerate the development and deployment of wireless Internet and corporate data services for businesses and consumers in Korea.