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SKT CEO announces vision to become an ‘AI Company’

SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, hereinafter referred to as “SKT”) CEO Ryu Young-sang today held a town hall meeting to announce the company’s new vision of becoming an AI Company that brings benefits to customers through technologies and services.

CEO Ryu stressed that SKT will shape into an AI Company that sets itself apart from others by combining AI to a wide range of connectivity technologies realized based on telecommunications.

SKT’s way to become an AI Company
To achieve the new vision, SKT unveiled the following three strategies designed to innovate its five business groups. Last year, the company rearranged its business into five different groups, namely Fixed & Mobile Telecommunications, Media, Enterprise, AIVERSE (AI+Universe), and Connected Intelligence.

First, SKT will redefine its core businesses with AI. By achieving AI transformation of its Fixed and Mobile Telecommunications, Media and Enterprise businesses, the company will create new opportunities and growth drivers.

SKT will improve the overall process to enable customers to search, subscribe to and use fixed and mobile telecommunications services/products with greater convenience and ease, and realize ‘AI MNO’ by applying AI to this entire process.

In Media Business, the company will integrate its media-related assets that are scattered across diverse media services like IPTV and T Commerce to strengthen its content power. It will also combine AI technology to these assets to create ‘AI Media Player’ that offers personalized content to customers.

In Enterprise Business, it will facilitate AI transformation of its enterprise customers through the six main business areas – namely data center, private network, IoT, cloud, big data, and AI.

Second, SKT will innovate customer relations through AI services. It will strengthen customer relationships by applying new technologies and content to AI-based services like ‘A.,’ ‘ifland’ and ‘T Universe.’

For its AI assistant service ‘A.,’ the company will focus on developing attractive features and content to draw in more customers. It will also continue to secure key competencies by making investments in companies with AI technologies or character/content related capabilities.

SKT plans to launch ifland in global markets and shape it into a globally competitive metaverse service by creating content with diverse companies. At the same time, it will keep expanding ifland’s social features and introduce an economic system based on cryptocurrency.

T Universe will evolve into an AI-based commerce subscription platform that provides customers with optimal subscription products and partners with new growth opportunities.

Lastly, SKT will share with others its AI Transformation (AIX) capabilities. SKT will invest in or acquire companies that can create greater synergies when combined with its AI technologies.

The company expects to develop diverse AIX use cases. For instance, robots or vision AI can be used to increase productivity in the manufacturing sector, and AI technology like ‘X-Caliber’ can be used to upgrade services in the healthcare sector.

Through implementation of these three strategies, SKT will achieve new growth to become Korea’s top AI company worth over KRW 40 trillion by 2026.

Unveils new brand logos that symbolize the company’s vision
Today, SKT unveiled new brand logos, T (SKT) and B (SKB), which symbolize its rise as an AI company.

The company used the word ‘OPEN’ as the design motif and created brand logos that embody an open gateway to the future. It expresses the company’s commitment to think outside the box and overcome limitations to create a new world, new businesses and new lifestyles.

The color of the new brand logos, T Blue, reflects the company’s future-oriented approach and technologies. SKT used the same color system for both T and B brand logos to provide customers with a consistent experience and emphasize synergies between the two brands.

Notable achievements made in the past one year
Last year, SKT rearranged its business into five different groups, namely Fixed & Mobile Telecommunications, Media, Enterprise, AIVERSE (AI+Universe), and Connected Intelligence.

Based on active cooperation with SK Broadband (SKB), SKT has achieved strong performance throughout the year, and its consolidated revenue is expected to reach a record amount of KRW 17 trillion for the year 2022.

In Fixed & Mobile Telecommunications Business, SKT is about to surpass 13 million 5G subscribers and achieved the highest net additions of IPTV subscribers in the market (SKT’s market share of total net additions: 36% in 2021 → 47% in 2022). It is constantly increasing its competitiveness by introducing new service offerings including fixed-mobile bundles.

In Media Business, SKT expects its media-related revenues to post a two-digit growth compared to the previous year backed by continued GMV growth of SK Stoa and T Deal as well as improved viewer ratings of Channel S, which strengthened its original content offerings.

In Enterprise Business, the company expects to achieve increased revenue compared to last year thanks to tangible results generated by Gasan Data Center, strong performance of cloud business in the public sector, and growth of orders for private networks jointly received by SKT and SKB.

In AIVERSE Business, SKT is witnessing a constant increase in the number of A. subscribers as it introduced a variety of new features including and games. Also, by adding an economic system and original content offerings, ifland has exceeded 3.6 million monthly active users (MAU).

By doubling the number of its partners and launching a series of new subscription services, T Universe successfully positioned itself as the representative subscription platform in Korea, securing over 1.8 million MAU.

In Connected Intelligence Business, SKT teamed up with Korea Airports Corporation and Hanwha Systems to form the ‘K-UAM Dream Team,’ through which it is preparing to participate in the government’s UAM project. At the same time, it is focusing on developing differentiated competitiveness in the UAM business by collaborating with Joby Aviation.

SKT also secured world-class product competitiveness in AI semiconductors by establishing SAPEON Inc. in the U.S. and SAPEON Korea at the same time, and attracting talents.

Moreover, SKT has made meaningful achievements through partnerships and collaborations with companies from diverse industries and locations. Its recent milestones include a strategic partnership and stock acquisition agreement with Konan Technology, an AI solution company, in October, and a strategic partnership and share exchange agreement with Hana Financial Group that took place in July 2022.

Over the past year, SKT also made significant progress in ESG. As part of its net-zero efforts, it has been implementing the ‘Happy Habit’ project and so far reduced the use of 5 million disposable cups, which is equivalent to planting 64,000 pine trees. In addition, through the ‘Cook Stove Project’ in Myanmar and deployment of an environmentally-friendly infrastructure, the company earned 260,000 tonnes of carbon credits.

SKT is also contributing to strengthening the social safety net through measures including the provision of ‘AI Care,’ an AI-based care service for the socially weak, to over 53,000 households in Korea.

Furthermore, the company made diverse efforts to build a flexible corporate culture by opening near-home offices named Sphere; operating The Lounge, which is designed to facilitate communication among employees; and increasing Happy Friday from a month to twice a month.

CEO Ryu said that the company will not only listen to and reflect employees’ voices through active communication. He also stressed that SKT’s working culture will be shared with not only SKB, but with all SKT’s ICT subsidiaries in a way that suits the nature of their business.

“Although we achieved steady growth over the past year, we are now standing at the point of transformation brought by sudden changes in the international situation,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “We will remain strong and steadfast and continue on our path toward achieving the vision of becoming an AI Company, while thoroughly preparing ourselves for all possible challenges, risks and threats.”
CT Bureau

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