SK Telecom Announces AI Pyramid Strategy to Become a Global AI Company2023.09.26
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced its ambition to become a global AI company by strengthening its own AI competitiveness and cooperating with partners throughout the globe. SKT’s CEO Ryu Young-sang unveiled the new ‘AI Pyramid Strategy,’ which aims to innovate industry, society, and life centered around three key areas including AI Infrastructure, AI Transformation (AIX) and AI Service. Under this new strategy, CEO Ryu said that the company expects the proportion of AI-related investment to approximately triple from 12% over the past five years (2019-2023) to 33% (2024-2028) over the next five years. ■ AI Infrastructure Located at the bottom of the AI Pyramid, AI Infrastructure is an area where SKT's technological capabilities are concentrated. The area consists of AI data centers, AI semiconductors, and multi LLM. With the growth of the AI market, the shortage of data centers is intensifying, and new social problems such as excessive use of power and rapid increase of CO2 emissions are emerging. Against this backdrop, SKT plans to introduce energy-saving solutions like immersion cooling system and hydrogen fuel cells, and expand into the AI hosting business that generates higher margins by bundling these energy-saving solutions with Sapeon’s neural processing unit (NPU) and SK Hynix’s high bandwidth memory (HBM). Based on differentiated energy solutions and AI hosting business, the company will expand its data center business to the global market. It explained that, by leveraging its data center operation capabilities and strong relationships with global cloud service providers, it will be able to successfully create new opportunities globally. It also plans to almost double its data center capacity by 2030. Sapeon, an AI semiconductor company established by SKT, will launch a next-generation inference AI chip ‘X330’ at the end of this year. The X330 has approximately twice the computational performance and 1.3 times the power efficiency compared to the latest inference chips on the market. Sapeon will also cooperate with diverse companies to secure competitiveness in software platform. SKT today announced that it has branded its AI technology as ‘A.X’ and named its large language model ‘A.X LLM’. The company is pursuing a multi-LLM strategy, under which it takes a two-track approach to secure diverse LLM lineup as well as an overall platform that encompasses the LLMs. It is advancing its own LLM based on high-quality data accumulated over decades. Simultaneously, SKT is collaborating with a diverse range of partners, including Anthropic, OpenAI, and Konan Technology, to develop tailored LLM and related technologies specifically for the telco industry. First, in terms of strengthening its own capabilities, SKT plans to advance its LLMs into telco-specific LLMs by leveraging its abundant telecommunications-related data. In addition, the company will continue to secure more sophisticated LLM technologies based on its supercomputer Titan, which ranked no. 47 on the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers; high understanding of the Korean language trained with the world’s largest Korean language data; intelligence platform where multi LLMs and AI technologies customized for diverse telco use cases can be utilized; and multimodal LLM technologies that support communication via not only text but also voice, video, and so on. SKT invested USD 100 million in Anthropic last month, and is working together with Anthropic to develop LLM customized to telcos. The company is also cooperating with Open AI, which includes co-hosting of an AI hackathon in Korea. SKT also invested KRW 22.4 billion in Konan Technology last year, and the two companies are collaborating to enter into the enterprise market with LLMs customized to corporate customers. ■ AI Transformation (AIX) In the area of AIX, which is located in the middle layer of the AI Pyramid, SKT will innovate its existing core business areas like mobile, broadband and enterprise with AI, while at the same time expanding into new business areas such as mobility, AI healthcare, media and advertising technology. In the mobile business, the company stated that AI holds the power to significantly improve both profitability and customer experience. AI can not only be used to acquire/retain customers and provide better customer support via AI Contact Centers (AICC), but also be applied to the network infrastructure to enhance the efficiency in network deployment and operation. The company expects that, in the mid-to long-term, AI will help reduce 20 to 30% of costs compared to the current level. SKT will also evolve SK Broadband’s Btv service into AI TV to deliver a new level of convenience and value. For instance, ‘AI Curation’ will identify the user and show personalized TV; and ‘AI Home’ will allow users to enjoy various media services by conversing with an AI agent. In addition, by combining multi LLM with existing AI solutions like Vision AI, Language AI and Big Data AI, the company to expand its AICC business to financial institutions and data platform business to manufacturers. For its generative AI business, it will build customized services for public and financial institutions with strong needs for security and specialized services, while providing SaaS bundles to general corporate customers. Furthermore, SKT will continue to pursue AI innovation and expand the overall AI ecosystem by growing its new business areas such as urban air mobility (UAM) and AI-based healthcare services like X Caliber. The company will also promote mergers and acquisitions in areas including media and advertising technology to create new business opportunities through AI transformation. ■ AI Service SKT today announced the official launch of ‘A.’, the world’s first Korean LLM service released in the beta version in 2022. The company said that ‘A.’ will evolve into a personal AI assistant service by innovating customers’ communication experience and fully assisting their everyday lives via seamless connection to a wide variety of AI services. SKT plans to add an AI phone service, which enables new connections through communication innovation that can only be achieved by a telco. The AI phone will provide a variety of AI services and mobile experiences based on understanding and reasoning of call context. For instance, it will recommend people to call based on call history and analyze the content exchanged during a call with AI to provide a call summary. At the same time, it connects users to necessary tasks, such as registering the schedule made during a call to the calendar or sharing addresses. More features such as real-time interpretation during calls will also be added going forward. In terms of integrating AI into all aspects of daily life, SKT will start by offering an AI sleep management solution named ‘A. sleep’ and an AI music service this month. ‘A. sleep’ is developed by combining sleep management solution startup Asleep’s sleep solution and SKT’s AI. It evaluates sleep quality by analyzing user’s sleep patterns. No separate device is needed. It helps users start their day in the best possible condition by determining the ideal wake-up time depending on their sleep status and quality. The AI music service will not only allow users to edit their playlist by simply talking to A., but also automatically recommend music that matches their tastes based on its generative customer prediction model. Going forward, SKT plans to leverage its AI service-related experience and knowhow accumulated in the Korean market to develop a powerful personal AI assistant service that can attract global customers. The company expects that its partnerships with diverse global players – including the Global Telco AI Alliance – will help accelerate its progress. SKT plans to expand its presence in the global AI service market by launching personal AI assistant services simultaneously in many countries across the world by working closely with telcos for localization and advancement of these services. ■ Two-track approach – self strengthening and cooperation – to accelerate growth to become a global AI company SKT aims to leap into a global AI company that leads the AI ecosystem by strengthening its own competitiveness in areas including the personal AI assistant ‘A.’, ‘A.X LLM’, AI semiconductor and AI data centers, while working together with diverse partners throughout the globe. “Destructive innovation triggered by generative AI is already creating new value in all areas of industry, society, and life. With our AI Pyramid Strategy, we will make accelerated moves to strengthen our own capabilities and cooperate with diverse partners, and expand our AI-related resource investments. Through these efforts, we aim to become a global AI company that benefits customers, increases industry productivity, and solves social problems with innovative technologies and services,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT.
SK Telecom and Joby Aviation Sign Collaboration Agreement for K-UAM Grand Challenge2023.09.24
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced that it signed a collaboration agreement with Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY), a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, to jointly participate in the K-UAM Grand Challenge. The collaboration agreement signing ceremony took place at SKT’s Seoul headquarters on September 20, 2023. The two companies will combine their expertise and resources to undertake flight testing that is designed to support the development of the Urban Air Mobility sector in Korea. K-UAM Grand Challenge is a large-scale demonstration program launched by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) to test the safety and suitability of UAM in an urban environment and to support the commercialization of UAM by 2025. SKT and Joby are part of the K-UAM Dream Team Consortium, which announced its intent to participate in the K-UAM Grand Challenge in February 2023, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MOLIT. The consortium includes a wide range of world-class partners, including Korea Airports Corporation, Hanwha Systems and T Map Mobility. The first phase of the Grand Challenge program will take place at a national flight site in Goheung, Jeollanam-do. SKT and Joby Aviation plan to use Joby’s aircraft to conduct flight tests in various scenarios to check the integrated operation of the UAM system, and measure the aircraft’s acoustic footprint. Joby will dispatch a flight test team to Korea to support the testing. Today’s announcement, which follows SKT’s strategic investment of USD 100 million in Joby Aviation in June 2023, secures the exclusive use of Joby’s aircraft for the Grand Challenge. With Grand Challenge test flights expected to start next year, this is a critical step for the consortium and ensures SKT is well placed to become a market-leader in this important new sector. Joby Aviation continues to lead the way on certifying eVTOL aircraft with the FAA. It became the first eVTOL company to complete both the first and second stages of the certification process and have also completed the submission of stage three certification plans to the FAA. Joby celebrated the launch of production at its pilot production line in Marina, CA, in June and announced this week that it has selected Dayton, Ohio as the location for its first scaled manufacturing facility. Going forward, SKT will align the UAM business with its vision of becoming an AI company and plans to accelerate AI transformation of the mobility field through UAM. AI has the potential to play a transformative role in the aviation sector, minimizing travel times and supporting autonomous flight in the future. “This agreement marks a critical step on the road to making aerial ridesharing a daily reality in Korea. We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with SK Telecom to deliver flights as part of the Grand Challenge and look forward to demonstrating our revolutionary technology. We’re grateful for the continued leadership of the Korean Government as they seek to lead the way on the adoption of electric flight,” said Eric Allison, Head of Product at Joby Aviation. “Through this collaboration agreement, we will work closely with Joby Aviation to bring the world’s most sophisticated aircraft to Korea and verify our capabilities for stable and safe UAM operations,” said Ha Min-yong, Chief Development Officer of SKT. “Going forward, we will open an era of ‘AI Mobility’ by shifting the paradigm of mobility through the combination of UAM and AI.”
SK Telecom, SK Broadband & Netflix Establish Strategic Partnership to Enhance Customers’ Entertainment Experience2023.09.18
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM), SK Broadband and Netflix, one of the world’s leading entertainment services, today announced a strategic partnership to provide better entertainment experiences to their customers. By teaming up with Netflix, SK Telecom and SK Broadband aim to help customers enjoy Netflix shows and films on mobile devices and IPTV (B tv) with easier access and payment options. SK Telecom and SK Broadband will offer various price plans and products, including bundled packages. In addition to launching Netflix bundled packages that combine SK Telecom’s plans and SK Broadband's IPTV offerings, they will introduce additional Netflix bundle packages for SK Telecom's subscription service, T Universe. The two companies also plan to introduce services combined with Netflix’s ad-supported price plan to allow more customers to enjoy Netflix. New products for SK Telecom and SK Broadband customers will be gradually released from the first half of 2024 and more detailed information will be unveiled over time. In addition to the partnership, SK Telecom and SK Broadband will explore opportunities with Netflix to leverage AI technologies developed by SK Telecom and SK Broadband, such as Conversational UX and Personalized Recommendation Technologies, to create better entertainment experiences for customers. Through the strategic partnership with Netflix, SK Telecom and SK Broadband have expanded the scope of delivering products to their customers, not only by providing top-tier communication services but also streaming services of the highest caliber. Going forward, SK Telecom will continue its journey to transform into an AI Company by collaborating with other global companies through strategic partnerships. This announcement is another example of Netflix’s ongoing investment in putting its members first around the world and in Korea, a country that defines the cultural zeitgeist and is widely acknowledged for fostering a world-class creative ecosystem. Through the partnership, Netflix will be able to establish deeper connections with more SK Telecom and SK Broadband consumers -- enabling Netflix to deliver a great variety of must-watch shows and films tailored to a variety of tastes such as D.P. 2, Mask Girl, Kill Boksoon, and Physical: 100. Moving forward, SK Broadband and Netflix will end all disputes with the signing of today’s partnership, and collaborate as partners for the future. This mutual decision stems from both parties' shared foundational principle that prioritizes customers. Netflix’s Tony Zameczkowski, Vice President of APAC Partnerships said, “The partnership with SK Telecom, a leader in Korea’s telecommunication and innovative technology industries, holds special significance as it enables Netflix to enhance entertainment experiences for a broader Korean audience. Netflix is committed to creating and delivering the best stories to members in Korea and audiences worldwide, and we have high expectations for the journey ahead as partners serving our customers with SK Telecom and SK Broadband.” SK Telecom's Choi Hwan-seok, Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy Office stated, “This strategic partnership with Netflix originates from the philosophy of SK Telecom and SK Broadband, where customer value is prioritized, and comes as part of our efforts to provide customers with an enhanced media service environment.” Additionally, he said, “We will continue to evolve into an AI company and work together with various players at home and abroad.”
SKT Promotes Development of International Standards for Quantum-Safe Communication2023.08.29
SKT (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced that it will promote the development of standards for quantum-safe communications at the International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group 17 (SG17)* meeting held at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) from today to September 8, 2023. *ITU-T SG 17 is a statutory group of the ITU-T concerned with security. It holds meetings held twice a year to develop international standards and technical reports on security. At the meeting, the company will be leading efforts to develop standards for key management of hybrid approaches with quantum key distribution (QKD) and post-quantum cryptography (PQC), which it successfully proposed in the previous meeting held in the first half of this year. This is aimed at reaching quantum-safe communications by combining the strength of QKD and PQC. Quantum-safe communication refers to the use of technologies/methods that are resistant to attacks by quantum computers in order to keep information assets secure even after a large-scale quantum computer has been built. Based on the characteristics of quantum mechanics, the QKD technology can guarantee information-theoretic security (or perfect security) for key exchanges. As a hardware-based technology, it requires operators to install physical key distribution device for each section. PQC refers to cryptographic algorithms that are thought to be secure against quantum computer attacks. As it can be deployed via software upgrade, it offers high scalability. SKT is currently studying a solution that manages QKD and PQC in an integrated manner. By connecting sections applied with QKD and those applied with PQC, the solution will be able to protect the entire communication chain against attacks by quantum computers. Also, a maximum level of security can be provided by applying both QKD and PQC to a particular section. For instance, for communication from data center to smartphones, QKD can be applied to sections covered by the fixed-line network (i.e. data center - internet – central office – base station), whereas PQC can be applied to sections covered by wireless networks (i.e. base station – smartphones) to safeguard the end-to-end communication in an efficient manner. Also, QKD can be used to safeguard data centers – e.g. between a data center that stores massive data and its backup data center, as well as public, defense and finance data centers where important and sensitive information is stored – and PQC can be employed to securely transmit such data via wireless communication. Meanwhile, in addition to playing an active role in the development of international standards, SKT is also actively working to develop and commercialize quantum cryptography technologies. Together with SK Broadband and ID Quantique, the world leader in quantum-safe security solution, SKT is not only setting standards for the operation of quantum cryptography communication network built with equipment from different manufacturers at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), but has also successfully verified the related technology on the national test network. In addition, for the first time in Korea, SKT commercialized PQC on virtual private networks (VPN) for countries including the U.S., Japan and Singapore, using algorithms that are highly likely to be adopted as international standards for PQC. Based on its R&D efforts in quantum cryptography communication technology, the company successfully applied QKD to the Seoul-Daejeon section – the most data traffic-concentrated section in Korea – of its 5G and LTE networks in 2019. It has also won quantum cryptography communication projects in the global market such as the U.S., Europe, and Singapore. “We are excited to lead the establishment of standards for next-generation security technologies that utilize the advantages of quantum key distribution and post-quantum cryptography technologies,” said Ha Min-yong, Chief Development Officer of SKT. “We will continue to make efforts to contribute to the growth of the global quantum cryptography market through active research and business.”
SK Telecom Joins Forces with Polygon Labs to Build Web3 Ecosystem2023.08.17
SKT (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) and Polygon Labs, an international software development company that builds blockchain scaling infrastructure, today announced that they have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to build SKT’s Web3 ecosystem. The agreement signing ceremony took place at SKT’s headquarters located in Seoul and was attended by Oh Se-hyun, Vice President and Head of Web3 CO of SKT, and Marc Boiron, CEO of Polygon Labs. The agreement will see the two companies collaborate on a new Web3 ecosystem. SKT will add support for the Polygon blockchain to its NFT marketplace TopPortand Web3 wallet, and will work together with Polygon Labs to discover promising Web3 startups and support incubation. “Polygon Labs has been developing optimal blockchain technology for Web3 popularization, and we see this collaboration with SKT as an important step in providing Web3 experiences to more consumers,” said Polygon Labs’ CEO Marc Boiron. Launched last year, NFT marketplace TopPort will not only allow its native creators to mint Polygon-based NFTs, but will also become compatible and scalable with all other NFT platforms in the Polygon ecosystem. SKT's Web3 wallet, which is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2023, will also support the Polygon network and introduce NFT trading. By leveraging Polygon, SKT will be able to ensure that its users can enjoy high-speed and cost-efficient transactions backed by Ethereum’s native security and decentralization. Today, Polygon-based solutions are already being used by many major global brands for their Web3 forays and initiatives. The two companies will also jointly support the continuous growth of the Web3 ecosystem as a whole by discovering and nurturing Web3 startups advanced by SKT. In particular, Polygon Labs plans to consider investing in promising Web3 startups recommended by SKT through its subsidiary Polygon Ventures. In addition, the two companies will support the global entry of competitive Web3 startups in Korea and the entry of globally leading decentralized apps (dApps) into the domestic market. “By combining our experience in blockchain services and Polygon Lab’s block chain infrastructure and ecosystem, we will be able create valuable business opportunities and boost the Web3 ecosystem,” said Oh Se-hyun, Vice President and Head of Web3 CO at SKT.
SKT and OpenAI to Host AI Hackathon in Korea2023.08.16
SKT (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) and OpenAI today announced that they will co-host an AI hackathon titled Prompter Day Seoul 2023 in Seoul, Korea, on September 23 and 24, 2023, under the theme Prompt for Humanity. SKT and OpenAI have been discussing various ways to use generative AI to help improve people’s lives, and expect the event to serve as a valuable opportunity to hear ideas directly from external customers and experts. Starting today, anyone interested in making a difference in people’s lives using generative AI can participate in the event. Registrations can be made at https://prompterday.com through September 3, 2023. Through the event, SKT and OpenAI seek to discover outstanding talents that can lead future developments in the AI industry and ideas for products and services that can help tackle social challenges. Entries will be judged by a panel of judges including Chung Suk-geun, Chief AI Global Officer at SKT, James Dyett, Head of Strategic Accounts at OpenAI, and Roh Jung-seok, CEO of B Factory. The judges will be looking for creative ideas for diverse topics, including Improving Wellness and Productivity in Daily Life; Enhancing Life with Entertainment; Improving Lives of Vulnerable Groups; and Enhancing Education. The preliminary round will be held from September 16 to 17, and the final round will take place from September 23 to 24, 2023. The final round will consist of many programs including a competition, award presentation, panel speeches, and a networking and mentoring session. Participants will be granted token credits to OpenAI’s technology and access to ChatGPT Plus. The winners will receive a total prize of KRW 100 million, and those who received an award of excellence or higher will be exempted from the first screening in the Junior Talent recruitment process of SKT. “In our pursuit to develop safe AI systems that benefit everyone, it’s an incredible honor to build alongside people from around the world and understand how AI can help shape the future for regions like Korea,” said Brad Lightcap, OpenAI COO. “We are excited to see the new ideas, challenges, and applications that emerge from this event.” “By jointly hosting an AI hackathon with OpenAI, we expect to discover creative and brilliant minds that will lead the future AI industry,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “We will boost the global AI ecosystem by working closely with OpenAI to nurture AI talents and developing new AI services.”
SKT Invests USD 100 Million in Anthropic and Joins Forces with the Company to Promote AI Innovation2023.08.13
SKT (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced that it is investing additional USD 100 million in Anthropic, an AI safety and research company based in San Francisco. This follows the previous investment from SK Telecom Venture Capital (SKTVC), the Silicon Valley-based venture capital arm of SKT. SKT has entered into a partnership agreement with Anthropic to build a large language model (LLM) customized for telcos. Under the agreement, SKT and Anthropic will jointly develop a multilingual LLM that supports languages, including Korean, English, Japanese and Spanish. By working together, the companies will combine SKT’s deep experience in telecommunications with Anthropic’s state-of-the-art AI technology including its AI model Claude. The industry model will be customized to best meet the needs of telcos. In particular, Anthropic will work with SKT to fine-tune Claude to telco use cases, including industry specific customer service, marketing, sales, and interactive consumer applications. By customizing the model to the telco industry, telcos will benefit from increased performance relative to the use of more general models. Jared Kaplan, a Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Anthropic, will oversee the overall direction of the industry customization as well as the product roadmap. “SKT has incredible ambitions to use AI to transform the telco industry. We’re excited to combine our AI expertise with SKT’s industry knowledge to build a LLM that is customized for telcos. We see industry specific LLMs as having high potential to create safer and more reliable deployments of AI technology,” said Dario Amodei, Co-Founder and CEO of Anthropic. “With our strategic investment in Anthropic, a global leading AI technology company, we will be working closely with Anthropic to promote AI innovation,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “By combining our Korean language-based LLM with Anthropic’s strong AI capabilities, we expect to create synergy and gain leadership in the AI ecosystem together with our global telco partners.”
SKT Publishes 6G White Paper to Present Blueprint for Future Networks2023.08.10
SKT (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced that it has released 6G White Paper to present key requirements for 6G standardization and the direction of future network evolution. The standardization process for 6G is in its early stage. In June 2023, the International Telecommunication Union-Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Working Party (WP) 5D published the Framework Recommendation of the 6G Network, which is expected to be commercialized around 2030. In addition, the first discussion on 6G candidate frequencies is scheduled to take place at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) at the end of this year, and WP 5D is expected to begin working on the technical performance requirements of 6G from 2024. As part of its efforts to contribute to the standardization of 6G, SKT published a white paper that contains its views on 6G key requirements and 6G evolution methodology, along with its opinions on the latest trends in frequency standardization. The 6G White Paper also provides analysis, development directions and methodologies pertaining to promising 6G use cases, technology trends, and candidate frequencies. Based on its experience gained through the world’s first commercialization and operation of 5G, SKT suggests 6G key requirements to realize expected usage scenarios and services in the 6G era. The 6G key requirements include powerful 6G products and services; simple architecture options; technologies that can expand coverage; and device heat and power consumption reduction technologies to improve user experience. Moreover, with the commercialization of 6G, SKT projected that megatrends like AI, power saving and quantum security will spread across all network areas, and technologies specialized for each network area, such as radio access network, core network, transport network, and aerial network, will be applied and evolved. In addition to the publication of the 6G White Paper, SKT is working to lead the early 6G standardization and technology ecosystem through collaboration with diverse overseas partners. In February 2023, SKT and NTT DOCOMO jointly released two white papers, one on green mobile networks, and the other on requirements for future 6G networks. SKT have been actively participating in global organizations and initiatives, including the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance and the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN), while expanding its cooperation with major telcos throughout the globe. Furthermore, through research and development partnerships, the company is also having discussions with equipment manufacturers and IT companies on 6G candidate technologies such as AI-based base stations. “In collaboration with many global telcos, we are making proactive efforts to lead the 6G standardization and technology ecosystem,” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Tech Office of SKT. “By further expanding our partnerships with global telcos and manufacturers, and leveraging our technological know-how and experience in 5G, we will not only lead the advancement of 5G network technologies, but also pioneer the development of 6G technologies.” ※Clickhereto download SKT’s 6G white paper.
SK Telecom Announces 2Q 2023 Earnings Results2023.08.08
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced its earnings for the second quarter of 2023 on a K-IFRS consolidated basis: revenue of KRW 4.306 trillion, operating income of KRW 463.4 billion, and net income of KRW 347.8 billion. Compared to the same period last year, SKT’s consolidated revenue and operating income increased by 0.4% and 0.8%, respectively, as it continued to achieve growth in its key businesses. The revenue of its data center business increased by more than 30% year-on-year (YoY) and its Cloud business revenue expanded by more than 60% YoY. On a non-consolidated basis, SKT posted revenue of KRW 3.119 trillion, operating income of KRW 379.1 billion, and net income of KRW 272.8 billion. SK Broadband’s revenue increased by 3.4% YoY to KRW 1.068 trillion and its operating income edged up by 5.8% YoY to KRW 82.7 billion. Recently, SKT, Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singtel have formed the Global Telco AI Alliance and agreed to co-develop the Telco AI Platform, which will serve as the core foundation for new AI services, by combining their capabilities. In collaboration with Microsoft, the company added ‘Chat T’ to its AI service ‘A.’, using the ChatGPT model of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service. Through interactions with ‘Chat T’, users can engage in rich conversations and receive informative responses beyond simple answers. Moreover, SKT further enhanced its own Large Language Model (LLM) to facilitate multi-turn dialogue for users. The upgraded model can understand the context of a conversation and grasp complex intentions, resulting in a more logical and useful conversation. The Enterprise business achieved remarkable revenue growth, with a YoY increase of over 9.2% YoY to KRW 407.1 billion. The data center business revenue increased by more than 30% YoY backed by the high utilization rate of new data centers and the establishment of a second center in Bundang. SKT is also preparing to open new data centers. The cloud service business revenue expanded by more than 60% YoY driven by orders from game companies and financial institutions, and is expected to grow further with the expansion of AI services and the hybrid cloud market. The Media business revenue grew by 1.2% YoY to KRW 386.5 billion. The growth was mainly driven by the high-quality media assets such as TEAM studio and Btv. In June 2023, SKT invested USD 100 million in Joby Aviation to acquire approximately 2 percent stake of the company. Furthermore, SKT is leading the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry by conducting research and development in the UAM field, and taking an active part in projects aimed at creating a UAM ecosystem in Korea. SKT’s metaverse platform ‘ifland’ is gaining traction in the global market, with 30% of its Monthly Active Users (MAU) coming from overseas in the second quarter. Since a metaverse social media feature called ‘if home’ was released in May 2023, a total of 400,000 if homes were created as of the end of July. The company’s subscription service ‘T Universe’ has surpassed 2 million MAU in the same quarter backed by powerful partnerships including the one with YouTube Premium. SKT is sustaining strong leadership in the fixed and mobile telecommunications market by generating business synergy with SK Broadband. As of the end of the second quarter, SKT had a total of 14.67 million 5G subscribers, and SK Broadband secured a total of 9.46 million pay TV subscribers and 6.81 broadband subscribers. SKT made efforts to expand customers’ options by introducing a total of 25 new price plans in the first half of this year. Particularly, the ‘0 Youth Plan,’ which offers increased data and special benefits for customers aged between 19 and 34, has been chosen by 70% of those who newly subscribe to SKT’s service, change their devices, or change their price plans. In addition, the ‘Family Roaming’ service, unveiled ahead of the June vacation season, has benefited 30,000 households, or 70,000 individuals, within just one month since its launch. In July 2023, SKT decided to purchase treasury shares worth KRW 300 billion and cancel KRW 200 billion worth of shares, which is equivalent to around 2% of the total number of issued shares (as of the date of announcement of cancellation of treasury shares). The company continues to pay out quarterly dividends, confirming a dividend of KRW 830 per share for the second quarter of 2023. SKT is actively pursuing various shareholder return policies to enhance corporate and shareholder value, and will continue to implement ESG management through advanced shareholder return policies. “Based on our strong performance, we will strengthen our capabilities and promote partnerships to shape into an AI company that leads the global AI market,” said Kim Jin-won, CFO of SKT. “We will make best efforts so that our transformation into an AI company leads to the maximization of corporate and shareholder value.” ※ The conference call in regard to SK Telecom’s 2Q 2023 earnings results can be heard via SK Telecom’s webpage on Tuesday, August 8, from 16:00 Seoul Time. Link: https://irsvc.teletogether.com/skt/skt2023Q2_eng.php ※ Attachment 1.Summary of Consolidated Income Statement(Unit: KRW billion) Type 23.2Q 22.2Q YoY 23.1Q QoQ Revenue 4,306.4 4,289.9 0.4% 4,372.2 △1.5% Operating Income 463.4 459.6 0.8% 494.8 △6.4% Net Income 347.8 258.1 34.8% 302.5 15% ※Attachment 2.Summary of Non-Consolidated Income Statement(Unit: KRW billion) Type 23.2Q 22.2Q YoY 23.1Q QoQ Revenue 3,119.2 3,118.2 0.0% 3,117.3 0.1% Operating Income 379.1 380.9 △0.5% 415.7 △8.8% Net Income 272.8 224.5 21.5% 422.2 △35.4%
SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, e&, and Singtel Form Global Telco AI Alliance for Collaboration and Innovation in AI2023.07.27
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”), Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singtel today announced that they formed the Global Telco AI Alliance to create a new customer experience and make a difference in the lives of global citizens using AI technology. The four members of the Global Telco AI Alliance agreed to make joint efforts to accelerate AI transformation of the existing telco business, and develop new growth drivers through new AI-powered business models. They signed a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the AI business. The Multilateral MOU signing ceremony took place in Seoul, Korea with the presence of key executives of the four telcos who attended online or in-person, including Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO of e&, Yuen Kuan Moon, Group CEO of Singtel, Chey Tae-won, Chairman of SK Group, and Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. The four telcos will jointly develop the Telco AI Platform by combining their respective technologies and capabilities. The Telco AI Platform is expected to serve as the core foundation for new AI services, including those designed to improve the existing telco services, digital assistants, and super apps that offer a wide range of services. To facilitate the cooperation, they will form the Global Telco AI Alliance Joint Working Group, which will have detailed discussions on issues such as co-investment opportunities and the co-development of the Telco AI Platform to reach a definitive agreement. The issue of designating a C-level officer from each company to coordinate the overall collaboration will be discussed. The four telcos also plan to support each other in operating AI services and apps in their respective markets and cooperate to build an ecosystem. “The launch of the Global Telco AI Alliance is meaningful in that it marks the beginning of a new journey to innovate our business models while growing together with our global partners,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “Through collaborative efforts, we will accelerate AI transformation of all industries, provide new value and experience to our customers, and lead the growth of the global AI ecosystem.” “In order to make the most of the possibilities of generative AI for our customers and our industry, we want to develop industry-specific applications in the Telco AI Alliance. I am particularly pleased that this alliance also stands for bridging the gap between Europe and Asia and that we are jointly pursuing an open-vendor approach. Depending on the application, we can use the best technology. The founding of this alliance is an important milestone for our industry,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “We recognize AI's immense potential in reshaping the telecommunications landscape and beyond and are excited to embark on this transformative journey with the formation of the Global Telco AI Alliance. The alliance signifies a strategic commitment to driving innovation and fostering collaborative efforts. Our shared goal is to redefine industry paradigms, establish new growth drivers through AI-powered business models, and pave the way for a new era of strategic cooperation, guiding our industry towards an exciting and prosperous future,” said Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO of e& life. “This alliance will enable us and our ecosystem of partners to significantly expedite the development of new and innovative AI services that can bring tremendous benefits to both businesses and consumers. With our advanced 5G network, we are well-placed to leverage AI to ideate and co-create and are already using it to enhance our own customer service and employee experience, increase productivity and drive learning,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, Group Chief Executive Officer of Singtel.