Saturday, April 9, 2011

     Just like in the U.S., smart phones, including Iphone or Android, are widely popular. As Americans use Skype as a messenger for their smart phones, there is a messenger program, called Kakao Talk, in Korea. This messenger is available only on the smart phone devices, and most of the smart phone users use it. Just like Skype, Kakao Talk provide messaging and calling service for those of who are connected to the Internet. So far, there are 10 million people using Kakao Talk, which is enormous regarding the total population of south Korea is 40 million. Recently, this application is causing problems for the network providers, because the smart phone users don't use much messaging and calling services, because they can do that with their messengers, for free. Being upset about this, some network providers were known to black mailing Kakao Talk to make them charge people additional fee for the app.
     In my personal opinion, I think this kind of trouble is happening, because smart phones were adopted to Korea without proper systems ready. In many other countries, network providers seem to earn money by monthly plans, However, the network providers in Korea seem to charge people more for individual phone calls or messages. Also, different from US, where wifi is available at almost everywhere, there is not so many places where wifi is available, since the land is small enough to connect all the internet with wires underground. As a result, when smart phones were first released in Korea, people got shocked by the huge amount of bills they got charged for 3G networks. These kind of troubles might be necessary to make the services better, but I am not sure if smart phones are proper for Korea right now.

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