South Korea is one of the most developed countries in the world in terms of access to the internet and mobile devices, with internet users amounting to almost 100% of the total population possessing mobile phones. Although the spread of COVID-19 created obstacles in daily life, South Korean consumers have been well informed of new cases found in local neighbourhoods through alerts sent out by the government to mobile phones.
As COVID-19 forced people to stay indoors while practicing social distancing measures, consumers developed interest in improving their living space, from revamping interior design to purchasing new furniture. To serve this growing interest in enhancing quality of life through better housing, LG Electronics showcased LG ThinkQ Home in IFA 2020, which implemented the company's high-tech consumer appliances as well as diverse smart solutions incorporating IoT, face recognition and sterilisation technology.
In July 2020, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety announced a comprehensive plan to invest in digital infrastructure across the nation. The plan, called “Digital New Deal”, comprises financial investment as well as job creation, which will help to boost the economy.
In December 2020, banks and tech giants in South Korea rushed to introduce online ID certification service since it was allowed for the first time for private companies to issue digital IDs to individuals. Previously, South Korean citizens have relied on a public online identification system, which has been used as the official verification method for mobile banking and public administration services.
According to the Telecommunications Operators Association, the number of mobile plan subscribers moving from the three major telecommunication providers to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) reached its highest in 2020. The popularity of low-cost mobile plans provided by MVNOs are sought after by the MZ generation since the monthly subscription fee is around 30% cheaper than the same plan provided by the telecom conglomerates.
Over the review period, SK Telecom registered record-high annual revenue as a result of strong growth of its core telecom business. Among the main drivers of the growth was the increase in 5G network service subscribers, reaching above five million by the end of 2020.
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