15 years earlier than China, what enlightenment does South Korea bring about by the way of carrying number to transfer network?

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 15 years earlier than China, what enlightenment does South Korea bring about by the way of carrying number to transfer network?


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Author: Quan Xiaoxing

[in 2018, the number of users using the number carrying transfer service was 5.666 million, down 19.3% compared with the same period of last year, but the monthly average number of users still remained stable at about 500000.

On November 27, the Ministry of industry and information technology officially announced the launch of the number carrying network transfer service in China. Since the pilot implementation of the service in Tianjin and Hainan, this is the ninth year that the number carrying network has been in China.

According to the data of the Ministry of industry and information technology, as of November 26, 3.16 million users had completed the number carrying transfer network, accounting for 1.8% of the total number of users in five provinces (cities), and the number carrying transfer network has encountered multiple embarrassments such as hundred year contract, which has become the biggest obstacle for consumers to use the service.

From a global perspective, more than 60 countries and regions have implemented number carrying in varying degrees. As the first country in Asia to fully realize the number carrying network transfer, South Korea has carried out the number carrying network transfer business for the three major wireless mobile operators throughout the country since 2004, and expanded the transfer object to the virtual operators since 2012. At present, it has achieved nearly 99.9% of the transfer success rate.

The experience in this field has brought together the continuous development of technological change and service innovation.

Lowering the threshold

Zhang Xicheng, who has been selling mobile phones for nearly 20 years in Longshan District, Seoul, South Korea, did not expect 15 years ago that the number carrying network will bring a new situation to the Korean communication market.

In South Korea, nearly 90% of users will choose to open a contract version of smart phones at the operators outlets; therefore, the service of the operator has always been the most important factor for Korean consumers to choose smart phones. Zhang Xicheng told the first financial reporter.

According to Zhang Xicheng, before 2004, three major operators in South Korea operated different identification codes, for example, sktelecoms identification codes were 011 and 017, KTFs identification codes were 016 and 018, and lgtelecoms identification codes were 019. The three operators have different network system, frequency band and operation mode, and many consumers have conflicts with changing mobile phone numbers. The number gap between operators has been more than 60%.

Some operators with insufficient number of users can only make up for this disadvantage by fighting a price war and even increasing investment in advertising and marketing, which also leads to the fact that in addition to large enterprises, more enterprises are unable to bear huge costs. On the one hand, it blocks the competition in the industry, while some leading operators in the industry are charging high prices. He said.

According to the data provided by ktoa, the South Korean Association of communication operators, which manages the operation system of number carrying transfer network, the number of users using number carrying transfer network business in 2018 was 5.666 million, down 19.3% compared with the same period of last year, but the monthly average number of users of number carrying transfer network was still stable at about 500000, considering that the total number of users of wireless communication in South Korea was about 51 million, which means that every year, the number of users using number carrying transfer network business was 5.666 million In South Korea, nearly 10% of the mobile communication users use the number carrying service.

During the 2G period, the systems of the three operators in South Korea were different. At that time, no country had implemented the number carrying network transfer on such a large scale in the world. Considering the need to involve all local operators users, South Korea has chosen the distributed database mode to realize the number conversion between different networks, that is, each mobile operator has set up its own database, in which the user and the number information carried in the database are guaranteed and managed by each operator. According to the agreed information interaction method, the data can be circulated among the databases To complete the query of user call information. Compared with the cost of setting up independent database, this way is lower, and for this reason, the three operators need to unify their own database system, which also lays the foundation for the future cooperation among the major operators in South Korea at the infrastructure level.

However, the above-mentioned ways will also lead to an increase in the probability of disputes between operators. In addition, how to prevent some operators from using soft barriers such as contracts and validity periods to hinder consumers legitimate choice became one of the parts considered by Korean policy makers at that time. As a result, South Korea decided to establish a neutral organization to manage the database among the three major operators led by the association. For new users who have less than 90 days access to the network, foreign contractual users and other users with more complex procedures, the neutral organization will unify and enforce the handling of the number carrying transfer business, so as to eliminate the possibility of mutual prevarication between different operators from the source. Said Zheng Wanyong, executive vice president of the South Korean Federation of communication enterprises.

At the same time, South Korea unified the identification code, abolished the identification codes of different operators such as 011-019, and replaced them with the new identification numbers of the last eight digits of 010, further breaking the competition imbalance caused by different identification codes.

Promote fair competition

In 2008, three major operators in South Korea announced the launch of 3G commercial services. The next year, KT, a South Korean operator, introduced Apples iPhone 3GS to South Korea for the first time. At the same time, Samsung Electronics has been forced to abandon windows mobile platform, turn to Android camp and launch Galaxy series smart phones.

According to Zheng Wanyong, the real peak of the number carrying network transfer service is during the 3G promotion represented by the launch of iPhone 3GS in South Korea; and Zhang Xicheng also mentioned that with the opportunity of iPhone entering the South Korean market, the mobile phone market in South Korea is experiencing explosive growth again under the situation of near saturation.

According to the statistics of relevant institutions in South Korea, one year after the launch of the number carrying network, although the number of users ranking of the three operators has not changed significantly, the gap between the first sktelecom and the second KT has narrowed from 60% to 30%, and after the launch of the iPhone in KT, the number of 3G users of KT once exceeded that of sktelecom, occupying the first place in the industry.

According to a research report of South Koreas Daxin securities, in the early period of the number carrying network transfer, South Korea controlled sktelecom, the first largest operator, which only allowed the transfer from sktelecom to the other two operators, but restricted the reverse transfer. After that, the restriction was lifted on the eve of 3G service promotion. Song Yingxi, then head of South Koreas KT Company, told the first financial reporter, The company has successfully resisted the market impact caused by deregulation by promoting iPhone for the first time in South Korea. While improving its brand image, it can also make it possible for operators to compete equally, thus promoting operators to launch a series of differentiated services.

Since then, with the launch of 4G and the smart phone war between Samsung and apple, Korean consumers have gradually become interested in the smart phone market. At the same time, in order to help consumers reduce the cost of communication, the Korean government encourages the MVNO (virtual operator) who rents the wireless operator network, and in 2012 allows the transfer between the virtual operators and the three operators , which also activated the Korean communication market to a certain extent.

In 2012, the average number of users carrying number to transfer network once exceeded 1 million person times; in 2013, the scale of South Korean virtual operator market increased by 48% year on year, far exceeding the single digit growth of the three operators. The virtual operator system successfully entered the attention of South Korean consumers, and many 0 yuan package and 99 yuan unlimited flow package emerged.

However, the influence caused by the number carrying network has continued to 5g era. In April this year, three major operators in South Korea announced the opening of 5g commercial service, which made South Korea one of the first countries in the world to open 5g commercial service.

Zheng Ziwen, chief researcher of KT Integration Technology Institute in South Korea, told CFI that it is because of the system and policy factors in South Korea that the hidden cost of changing products for consumers has been reduced, so that Korean consumers can quickly accept 5g services, while the competition between different operators is more equal, which also promotes operators to develop more additional services, and in industry and home use In order to resist the fierce competition, the company is trying to expand its application services in AR, IOT and artificial intelligence.

The modern Mobis R & D personnel of 5gopenlab, which is operated by KT Company, told the first financial reporter that although it is difficult to change the industrial application level of 5g directly by policies such as number carrying and network transfer, it promotes the improvement of technical compatibility between different operators from the side, thus effectively reducing the hidden cost of technical integration.

Enlightenment and reference

At the same time, the comprehensive promotion of number carrying network transfer service has promoted the reform of radio and television in South Korea. According to Zheng Wanyong, in the 2010s, South Korea expanded the scope of network transfer to broadband network, cable telephone and other aspects, and further simplified the process of network transfer. For example, it proposed that during the working day, the network transfer could be completed within 30 minutes, and the mobile phone bills, deductions and other aspects were synchronized, reducing the burden of South Korean consumers on network transfer.

Li Douxi, a professor of business management at Koryo University and President of the Korean business association, believes that compared with the growing market of the number of users, when the growth of the total number of users stagnates, the promotion of the number carrying service will help to promote competition among operators and create more consumer welfare for consumers.

It is worth noting that, according to the data of the Ministry of science, technology, information and communication of the Republic of Korea, the total number of mobile phone users in South Korea has shown a single digit growth since 2003, with a growth rate of about 9%, and the total number of users has also exceeded 40 million; since then, the growth of the total number of users every year has begun to show a slow trend. According to Li Douxi, this is mainly due to the fact that the major operators gradually turn their attention to the old users and are committed to improving the user stickiness for the old users by providing the old users with similar preferential measures as the new users.

However, Mr. Lee also acknowledged that the number carrying network transfer in South Korea also has some side effects, including the operators over investment in promotion and publicity, as well as providing excessive subsidies to consumers, thus affecting their own financial situation. Therefore, in the near future, operators have gradually expanded their investment to 5g and other infrastructure construction and investment, aiming at 4G and so on Users can choose one of the two contract measures: preferential mobile phone rate and purchase subsidy.

Source: the first financial editor in charge: Qiao JunJing, nbj11279