Company Quick10K Filing
Kt
20-F 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-04-30
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-04-29
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-04-30
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-04-30
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-04-28
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-04-29
20-F 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-04-28
20-F 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-04-29
20-F 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-04-27
20-F 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-06-29
20-F 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-06-29

KT 20F Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Managers and Advisers
Item 1.A. Directors and Senior Management
Item 1.B. Advisers
Item 1.C. Auditors
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 2.A. Offer Statistics
Item 2.B. Method and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
Item 3.A. Selected Financial Data
Item 3.B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
Item 3.C. Reasons for The Offer and Use of Proceeds
Item 3.D. Risk Factors
Item 4. Information on The Company
Item 4.A. History and Development of The Company
Item 4.B. Business Overview
Item 4.C. Organizational Structure
Item 4.D. Property, Plants and Equipment
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 5.A. Operating Results
Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources
Item 5.C. Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.
Item 5.D. Trend Information
Item 5.E. Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
Item 5.F. Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations
Item 5.G. Safe Harbor
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 6.A. Directors and Senior Management
Item 6.B. Compensation
Item 6.C. Board Practices
Item 6.D. Employees
Item 6.E. Share Ownership
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 7.A. Major Shareholders
Item 7.B. Related Party Transactions
Item 7.C. Interests of Experts and Counsel
Item 8. Financial Information
Item 8.A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
Item 8.B. Significant Changes
Item 9. The Offer and Listing
Item 9.A. Offer and Listing Details
Item 9.B. Plan of Distribution
Item 9.C. Markets
Item 9.D. Selling Shareholders
Item 9.E. Dilution
Item 9.F. Expenses of The Issuer
Item 10. Additional Information
Item 10.A. Share Capital
Item 10.B. Memorandum and Articles of Association
Item 10.C. Material Contracts
Item 10.D. Exchange Controls
Item 10.E. Taxation
Item 10.F. Dividends and Paying Agents
Item 10.G. Statements By Experts
Item 10.H. Documents on Display
Item 10.I. Subsidiary Information
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities
Item 12.A. Debt Securities
Item 12.B. Warrants and Rights
Item 12.C. Other Securities
Item 12.D. American Depositary Shares
Part II
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15. Controls and Procedures
Item 16. [Reserved]
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B. Code of Ethics
Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Item 16G. Corporate Governance
Part III
Item 17. Financial Statements
Item 18. Financial Statements
Item 19. Exhibits
EX-1 dex1.htm
EX-8.1 dex81.htm
EX-12.1 dex121.htm
EX-12.2 dex122.htm
EX-13.1 dex131.htm
EX-15.1 dex151.htm
EX-15.2 dex152.htm
EX-15.3 dex153.htm
EX-15.4 dex154.htm

Kt Earnings 2010-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 29, 2011

 

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 20-F

 

¨ REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

        For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

 

¨ SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

        Date of event requiring this shell company report                                         

        For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission file number 1-14926

KT Corporation

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

KT Corporation   The Republic of Korea
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)   (Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

206 Jungja-dong

Bundang-ku, Sungnam, Gyunggi-do

463-711 Korea

(Address of principal executive offices)

Thomas Bum Joon Kim

206 Jungja-dong

Bundang-ku, Sungnam, Gyunggi-do

463-711 Korea

Telephone: +82-31-727-0150; E-mail: thomaskim@kt.com

(Name, telephone, e-mail and/or facsimile number and address of company contact person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.

 

Title of each class

  

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depositary Shares, each representing   

New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

one-half of one share of common stock   
Common Stock, par value (Won)5,000 per share*   

New York Stock Exchange, Inc.*

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.

None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.

None

As of December 31, 2010, there were 243,215,844 shares of common stock, par value (Won)5,000 per share, outstanding

(not including 17,895,964 shares of common stock held by the company as treasury shares)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No   ¨

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes  ¨    No   x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  ¨    No   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer  x    Accelerated filer  ¨    Non-accelerated filer  ¨

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing. U.S. GAAP  ¨    IFRS  ¨    Other  x

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.    Item 17  ¨     Item 18  x

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No   x

 

* Not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of the American Depositary Shares.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

              Page  

PART I

     1   

ITEM 1.

 

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGERS AND ADVISERS

     1   
 

Item 1.A.

  

Directors and Senior Management

     1   
 

Item 1.B.

  

Advisers

     1   
 

Item 1.C.

  

Auditors

     1   

ITEM 2.

 

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

     1   
 

Item 2.A.

  

Offer Statistics

     1   
 

Item 2.B.

  

Method and Expected Timetable

     1   

ITEM 3.

 

KEY INFORMATION

     2   
 

Item 3.A.

  

Selected Financial Data

     2   
 

Item 3.B.

  

Capitalization and Indebtedness

     4   
 

Item 3.C.

  

Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

     5   
 

Item 3.D.

  

Risk Factors

     5   

ITEM 4.

 

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

     16   
 

Item 4.A.

  

History and Development of the Company

     16   
 

Item 4.B.

  

Business Overview

     17   
 

Item 4.C.

  

Organizational Structure

     41   
 

Item 4.D.

  

Property, Plants and Equipment

     41   

ITEM 4A.

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

     44   

ITEM 5.

 

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

     44   
 

Item 5.A.

  

Operating Results

     44   
 

Item 5.B.

  

Liquidity and Capital Resources

     63   
 

Item 5.C.

  

Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.

     70   
 

Item 5.D.

  

Trend Information

     71   
 

Item 5.E.

  

Off-balance Sheet Arrangements

     71   
 

Item 5.F.

  

Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations

     71   
 

Item 5.G.

  

Safe Harbor

     71   

ITEM 6.

 

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

     71   
 

Item 6.A.

  

Directors and Senior Management

     71   
 

Item 6.B.

  

Compensation

     78   
 

Item 6.C.

  

Board Practices

     78   
 

Item 6.D.

  

Employees

     80   
 

Item 6.E.

  

Share Ownership

     82   

 

i


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(continued)

 

              Page  

ITEM 7.

 

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     82   
 

Item 7.A.

  

Major Shareholders

     82   
 

Item 7.B.

  

Related Party Transactions

     82   
  Item 7.C.    Interests of Experts and Counsel      83   

ITEM 8.

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

     83   
 

Item 8.A.

  

Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information

     83   
 

Item 8.B.

  

Significant Changes

     84   

ITEM 9.

 

THE OFFER AND LISTING

     84   
 

Item 9.A.

  

Offer and Listing Details

     84   
 

Item 9.B.

  

Plan of Distribution

     85   
 

Item 9.C.

  

Markets

     85   
 

Item 9.D.

  

Selling Shareholders

     89   
 

Item 9.E.

  

Dilution

     90   
 

Item 9.F.

  

Expenses of the Issuer

     90   

ITEM 10.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     90   
 

Item 10.A.

  

Share Capital

     90   
 

Item 10.B.

  

Memorandum and Articles of Association

     90   
 

Item 10.C.

  

Material Contracts

     96   
 

Item 10.D.

  

Exchange Controls

     97   
 

Item 10.E.

  

Taxation

     101   
 

Item 10.F.

  

Dividends and Paying Agents

     106   
 

Item 10.G.

  

Statements by Experts

     106   
 

Item 10.H.

  

Documents on Display

     106   
 

Item 10.I.

  

Subsidiary Information

     106   

ITEM 11.

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

     106   

ITEM 12.

 

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

     108   
 

Item 12.A.

  

Debt Securities

     108   
 

Item 12.B.

  

Warrants and Rights

     108   
 

Item 12.C.

  

Other Securities

     108   
 

Item 12.D.

  

American Depositary Shares

     109   

PART II

     110   

ITEM 13.

 

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

     110   

 

ii


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(continued)

 

              Page  

ITEM 14.

   MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS      110   

ITEM 15.

  

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

     110   

ITEM 16.

  

[Reserved]

     111   

ITEM 16A.

  

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

     111   

ITEM 16B.

  

CODE OF ETHICS

     112   

ITEM 16C.

  

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

     112   

ITEM 16D.

   EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES      112   

ITEM 16E.

   PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS      113   

ITEM 16F.

  

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

     113   

ITEM 16G.

  

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

     113   

PART III

     115   

ITEM 17.

  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     115   

ITEM 18.

  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     115   

ITEM 19.

  

EXHIBITS

     115   

 

iii


Table of Contents

PRESENTATION

All references to “Korea” or the “Republic” contained in this annual report mean the Republic of Korea. All references to the “Government” are to the government of the Republic of Korea. All references to “we,” “us” or the “Company” are to KT Corporation and, as the context may require, its subsidiaries.

All references to “Won” or “(Won)” in this annual report are to the currency of the Republic and all references to “Dollars,” “$,” “US$” or “U.S. dollars” are to the currency of the United States of America. Our monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency are translated into Won at the market average exchange rate announced by Seoul Money Brokerage Services, Ltd. on the balance sheet dates, which were, for U.S. dollars, (Won)1,257.5 to US$1.00, (Won)1,167.6 to US$1.00 and (Won)1,138.9 to US$1.00 at December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Our consolidated financial statements are expressed in Won and, solely for the convenience of the reader, the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2010 have been translated into United States dollars at the rate of (Won)1,138.9 to US$1.00, the market average exchange rate announced by Seoul Money Brokerage Services, Ltd. and in effect on December 31, 2010.

Any discrepancies in any table between totals and the sums of the amounts listed are due to rounding.

All market share data contained in this annual report, unless otherwise specified, are based on the number of subscribers announced by the Korea Communications Commission or the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association.

PART I

Item 1.  Identity of Directors, Senior Managers and Advisers

Item 1.A.  Directors and Senior Management

Not applicable.

Item 1.B.  Advisers

Not applicable.

Item 1.C.  Auditors

Not applicable.

Item 2.  Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

Item 2.A.  Offer Statistics

Not applicable.

Item 2.B.  Method and Expected Timetable

Not applicable.

 

1


Table of Contents

Item 3.  Key Information

Item 3.A.  Selected Financial Data

You should read the selected consolidated financial data below in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements as of December 31, 2009 and 2010 and for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2010, and the reports of the independent registered public accounting firms on these statements included herein. The selected consolidated financial data for the five years ended December 31, 2010 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements.

Our Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in Korea (“Korean GAAP”), which differ in certain significant respects from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). See Note 38 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of the nature and the effect of such differences.

Income Statement Data

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2006      2007      2008     2009     2010      2010  
     (In billions of Won and millions of Dollars, except per share data)  

Korean GAAP (1):

               

Operating revenues

   (Won) 17,825       (Won) 18,614       (Won) 19,587      (Won) 19,644      (Won) 21,331       US$ 18,730   

Operating expenses

     15,442         16,859         18,144        18,673        19,156         16,820   

Operating income

     2,383         1,755         1,443        971        2,175         1,910   

Non-operating income

     565         486         1,050        808        523         459   

Non-operating expenses

     962         783         1,783        1,059        1,136         998   

Income tax expense on continuing operations

     476         357         168        108        372         326   

Income from continuing operations

     1,510         1,106         542        612        1,190         1,045   

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

             65         (29     (2     3         2   

Net Income

     1,510         1,171         513        610        1,193         1,047   

Controlling interest net income

     1,292         1,056         450        495        1,168         1,026   

Minority interest net income

     218         115         63        115        25         22   

Basic income per share from continuing operations

     6,153         4,783         2,319        2,225        4,797         4.21   

Basic net income per share (2)

     6,155         5,112         2,217        2,254        4,803         4.22   

Diluted income per share from continuing operations

     6,146         4,783         2,319        2,199        4,797         4.21   

Diluted net income per share (3)

     6,148         5,112         2,217        2,227        4,802         4.22   

Dividends per share (4)

     2,000         2,000         1,120        2,000        2,410         2.12   

U.S. GAAP (5):

               

Operating revenues

   (Won) 14,088       (Won) 17,953       (Won) 18,599      (Won) 18,891      (Won) 20,088       US$ 17,638   

Operating income

     1,868         1,499         1,197        992        1,899         1,667   

Income taxes

     357         270         178        118        374         328   

Income from continuing operations

     1,423         1,087         577        841        1,196         1,050   

Income (loss) from discontinuing operations

             73         (4     (1               

Net Income (6)

     1,423         1,160         573        840        1,196         1,050   

Attributable to KT stockholders

     1,329         1,069         518        742        1,186         1,041   

Attributable to noncontrolling interests

     94         91         55        98        10         9   

Basic income per share from continuing operations

     6,331         4,821         2,571        3,382        4,876         4.28   

Basic income per share (2)

     6,333         5,172         2,554        3,380        4,876         4.28   

Diluted income per share from continuing operations

     6,325         4,821         2,571        3,332        4,876         4.28   

Diluted income per share (3)

     6,327         5,172         2,554        3,330        4,876         4.28   

 

2


Table of Contents

Balance Sheet Data

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2006      2007      2008      2009      2010      2010  
     (In billions of Won and millions of Dollars)  

Korean GAAP (1):

                 

Working capital (7)

   (Won) 558       (Won) 564       (Won) 1,833       (Won) 1,031       (Won) 643       US$ 565   

Net property and equipment

     15,167         15,288         15,189         14,775         15,228         13,371   

Total assets

     24,243         24,127         26,139         26,620         27,713         24,334   

Long term debt, excluding current portion

     6,097         5,973         7,947         7,536         7,219         6,338   

Refundable deposits for telephone installation

     907         841         782         696         615         541   

Total equity

     10,697         11,138         11,088         10,667         11,496         10,094   

U.S. GAAP (5):

                 

Working capital (7)

   (Won) 333       (Won) 332       (Won) 1,640       (Won) 845       (Won) 584       US$ 513   

Net property and equipment

     14,729         14,671         14,460         14,041         13,682         12,013   

Total assets

     24,098         24,023         25,974         26,526         26,603         23,359   

Total equity

     10,221         10,589         10,609         10,456         11,100         9,746   

Stockholders’ equity

     8,038         8,438         8,490         10,287         10,929         9,596   

Noncontrolling interests

     2,183         2,151         2,119         169         171         150   

Other Financial Data

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2010  
     (In billions of Won and millions of Dollars)  

Korean GAAP:

            

Net cash provided by operating activities

   (Won) 5,714      (Won) 4,265      (Won) 2,920      (Won) 3,399      (Won) 3,245      US$ 2,849   

Net cash used in investing activities

     (3,061     (3,449     (3,532     (2,872     (3,436     (3,017

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     (2,367     (1,368     1,051        (930     (129     (113

U.S. GAAP (5):

            

Net cash provided by operating activities

   (Won) 4,667      (Won) 4,260      (Won) 2,889      (Won) 3,338      (Won) 3,022      US$ 2,653   

Net cash used in investing activities

     (2,432     (3,410     (3,502     (2,818     (3,277     (2,877

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     (1,671     (1,271     1,147        (901     (117     (103

Operating Data

 

     As of December 31,  
     2006      2007      2008      2009      2010  

Lines installed (thousands) (8)

     26,838         26,671         26,008         25,907         25,524   

Lines in service (thousands) (8)

     20,331         19,980         18,883         17,069         16,620   

Lines in service per 100 inhabitants (8)

     42.0         41.2         38.8         35.0         34.0   

Mobile subscribers (thousands)

     12,914         13,721         14,365         15,016         16,041   

Broadband Internet subscribers (thousands)

     6,353         6,516         6,712         6,953         7,424   

 

 

(1) Through December 31, 2008, the Korea Accounting Standards Board has issued Statements of Korea Accounting Standards (“SKAS”) No. 1 through No. 25. Among these statements, SKAS No. 1 through No. 10 and SKAS No. 12 through No. 20 are required to be applied in the prior periods. Although SKAS No. 11 and SKAS No. 21 through No. 25 are required to be applied starting in 2007, the balances of 2006 have been reclassified in accordance with Statements of Korea Accounting Standards No. 16 and No. 21 for comparison purposes.

 

(2) Basic earnings per share under Korean GAAP and U.S. GAAP is calculated by dividing net earnings by the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the period. The weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period was 209,895 thousand for 2006, 206,599 thousand for 2007, 202,891 thousand for 2008, 219,513 thousand for 2009 and 243,207 thousand for 2010.

 

(3) Diluted earnings per share are calculated based on the effect of dilutive securities that were outstanding during the period. The denominator of the diluted earnings per share computation is adjusted to include the number of additional common shares that would have been outstanding if the dilutive securities had been converted into common stock. In addition, the numerator is adjusted to include the after-tax amount of interest recognized associated with convertible notes. The weighted average number of common and common equivalent shares outstanding was 210,150 thousand for 2006, 206,599 thousand for 2007, 202,891 thousand for 2008, 224,168 thousand for 2009 and 243,225 thousand for 2010.

 

3


Table of Contents
(4) The calculation of dividends per share represents the weighted average dividends paid per share.

 

(5) See Note 38 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for reconciliation to U.S. GAAP.

 

(6) In December 2007, the Financial Accounting Standard Board issued and amended an accounting standard that requires that the noncontrolling interest in the equity of a subsidiary be accounted for and reported as equity in consolidated financial statements. With the adoption of the amended standard, net income attributable to noncontrolling interests is included in net income. We retrospectively adopted the presentation and disclosure requirements of the standard for all of the financial statements and information included herein on January 1, 2009.

 

(7) “Working capital” means current assets minus current liabilities.

 

(8) Including public telephones.

Exchange Rate Information

The following table sets out information concerning the market average exchange rate for the periods and dates indicated.

 

Period

   At End of
Period
     Average
Rate (1)
     High      Low  
     (Won per US$1.00)  

2006

     929.6         956.1         1,013.0         918.0   

2007

     938.2         929.2         950.0         902.2   

2008

     1,257.5         1,102.6         1,509.0         934.5   

2009

     1,167.6         1,276.4         1,573.6         1,152.8   

2010

     1,138.9         1,156.3         1,261.5         1,104.0   

December

     1,138.9         1,147.6         1,164.9         1,133.6   

2011 (through June 28)

     1,086.7         1,102.2         1,138.9         1,066.8   

January

     1,114.3         1,120.1         1,138.9         1,112.2   

February

     1,127.9         1,118.1         1,127.9         1,104.4   

March

     1,107.2         1,122.5         1,137.6         1,107.2   

April

     1,072.3         1,086.8         1,100.1         1,072.3   

May

     1,080.6         1,083.5         1,096.3         1,066.8   

June (through June 28)

     1,086.7         1,081.4         1,088.9         1,075.0   

 

Source: Seoul Money Brokerage Services, Ltd.

 

(1) The average rate for each full year is calculated as the average of the market average exchange rates on the last business day of each month during the relevant year. The average rate for a full month is calculated as the average of the market average exchange rates on each business day during the relevant month (or portion thereof).

Our monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency are translated into Won at the market average exchange rate announced by Seoul Money Brokerage Services, Ltd. on the balance sheet dates, which were, for U.S. dollars, (Won)1,257.5 to US$1.00, (Won)1,167.6 to US$1.00 and (Won)1,138.9 to US$1.00 at December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Our consolidated financial statements are expressed in Won and, solely for the convenience of the reader, the consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2010 have been translated into United States dollars at the rate of (Won)1,138.9 to US$1.00, the market average exchange rate announced by Seoul Money Brokerage Services, Ltd. and in effect on December 31, 2010.

We make no representation that the Won or Dollar amounts contained in this annual report could have been or could be converted into Dollar or Won, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.

Item 3.B.  Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable

 

4


Table of Contents

Item 3.C.  Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

Item 3.D.  Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following factors.

Risks Relating to Our Business

Competition in the Korean telecommunications industry is intense.

Competition in the telecommunications sector in Korea is intense. In recent years, business combinations in the telecommunications industry have significantly changed the competitive landscape of the Korean telecommunications industry. In particular, SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (or SK Telecom) acquired a controlling stake in Hanarotelecom Incorporated in 2008, which was renamed SK Broadband Co., Ltd. (or SK Broadband). The acquisition enables SK Telecom to provide fixed-line telecommunications, broadband Internet access and Internet television (or IP-TV) services together with its mobile telecommunications services. On January 1, 2010, LG Dacom Corporation (or LG Dacom) and LG Powercom Co., Ltd. (or LG Powercom) merged into LG Telecom Co., Ltd., which subsequently changed its name to LG U+. The merger enables LG U+ to provide a similar range of services as SK Telecom and us. Our inability to adapt to such changes in the competitive landscape could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Mobile Service. We provide mobile services based on Code Division Multiple Access (or CDMA) technology and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (or W-CDMA) technology. Competitors in the mobile telecommunications service industry are SK Telecom and LG U+. We had a market share of 31.6% as of December 31, 2010, making us the second largest mobile telecommunications service provider. SK Telecom had a market share of 50.6% as of December 31, 2010.

Mobile subscribers are allowed to switch their service provider while retaining the same mobile phone number. Mobile service providers also grant subsidies to subscribers who purchase new handsets and agree to a minimum subscription period. Mobile number portability and handset subsidies have intensified competition among the mobile service providers and increased their marketing expenses. If the mobile service providers adopt a strategy of expanding market share through price competition, it could lead to a decrease in our net profit margins.

In recent years, SK Telecom and we also launched third-generation mobile telecommunications services, which we believe have further intensified competition between the two companies and resulted in an increase in marketing expenses. We expanded our coverage area of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (or HSDPA)-based IMT-2000 services nationwide in March 2007. IMT-2000 is a third-generation, high-capacity wireless communications technology, which allows operators to provide to their customers significantly more bandwidth capacity. Although we expect that SK Telecom will face similar challenges to those that we expect to face in implementing this third-generation technology, we cannot assure you that we will continue to be able to successfully compete in third-generation mobile telecommunications services.

Fixed-line Telephone Services. Before December 1991, we were the sole provider of local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone services in Korea. Since then, various competitors have entered the local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone service markets in Korea, which have eroded our market shares. LG U+ and SK Broadband currently provide local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone services. In addition, Onse Telecom Corporation and SK Telink, Inc. currently provide domestic long-distance and

 

5


Table of Contents

international long-distance telephone services. Starting in 1998, specific service providers, such as Internet phone service providers, voice resellers and call-back service providers, also began offering international long-distance service in Korea. While we offer our own Internet phone service, the entry of these and other potential competitors into the local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone service markets has had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on our revenues and profitability from these businesses. As of December 31, 2010, we had a market share in local telephone service of 86.3% and a market share in domestic long distance service of 82.2%. Further increase in competition may decrease our market shares in such businesses.

Internet Services. The Korean broadband Internet access service market has experienced significant growth in the past decade. SK Broadband (formerly Hanarotelecom) entered the broadband market in 1999 offering both Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (or HFC) and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (or ADSL) services. We also began offering broadband Internet access service in 1999, followed by Dreamline, Onse and LG U+. In recent years, numerous cable television operators have also begun to offer HFC-based services at rates lower than ours. We had a market share of 43.1% as of December 31, 2010. As a result of having to compete with a number of competitors and the maturing of the Internet access service market, we currently encounter, and we expect to encounter, pressure to increase marketing expenses in the future.

The market for other Internet-related services in Korea, including IP-TV and Internet phone services, is also very competitive. We anticipate that competition will continue to intensify as the usage and popularity of the Internet grows and as new domestic and international competitors enter the Internet industry in Korea. The substantial growth of the Internet industry in Korea has attracted many competitors and as a result may lead to increasing price competition to provide Internet-related services. Increased competition in the Internet industry could have a material adverse effect on the number of subscribers of our Internet-related service and on our results of operations.

We may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger of KTF into KT Corporation.

On June 1, 2009, KTF merged into KT Corporation, with KT Corporation surviving the merger. The success of the merger of KTF with KT Corporation will depend, in part, on our ability to realize the anticipated synergies, growth opportunities and, to a lesser extent, cost savings from combining these two companies. The realization of these anticipated benefits may be impeded, delayed or reduced as a result of numerous factors, some of which are outside our control. These factors include:

 

   

difficulties in integrating the operations of KTF with those of KT Corporation, including information systems, personnel, policies and procedures, and in reorganizing or reducing overlapping personnel, operations, marketing networks and administrative functions;

 

   

unforeseen contingent risks or latent liabilities relating to the merger that may become apparent in the future;

 

   

difficulties in managing a larger business; and

 

   

loss of key management personnel or customers.

Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will realize the anticipated benefits of the merger or that the merger will not adversely affect our combined business, financial condition and results of operations.

The integration of the operations of KTF into KT Corporation may require significant amounts of time, financial resources and management attention. KT Corporation’s management intends to implement a business plan to effectively combine the operations of KTF with the operations of

 

6


Table of Contents

KT Corporation. If this business plan is not effective in integrating these operations, however, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of the merger. The integration process could also result in the disruption of our ongoing business and information technology systems, or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies and a reduction in employee morale, each of which may adversely affect our ability to maintain relationships with customers and to retain key personnel.

In addition, as conditions to the approval of the merger of KTF into KT Corporation, the Korea Communications Commission is requiring us to (i) allow competing service providers to have greater access to our cable tunnels and telephone poles, (ii) improve Public Switched Telephone Network (or PSTN) number portability and voice over Internet protocol (or VoIP) number portability, and (iii) allow competing service providers to access our wireless Internet network. Such conditions may intensify competition in the telecommunications industry, which could have a material adverse effect on the number of our subscribers and results of operations.

Failure to renew existing bandwidth spectrum, acquire adequate additional bandwidth spectrum or use our bandwidth efficiently may adversely affect our mobile telecommunications business and results of operations.

One of the principal limitations on a wireless network’s subscriber capacity is the amount of bandwidth spectrum allocated to the service provider. Our current right to use 40 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum is scheduled to expire at the end of June 2011. We have applied to the Korea Communications Commission to allocate back to us 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum, for which we expect to pay a usage fee if reallocated to us. In addition, the Korea Communications Commission allocated 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum to us, which will become effective on July 1, 2011. We expect to pay a portion of the actual sales generated from using the bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum during the license period of 10 years as a usage fee for the bandwidth, as well as a portion of expected sales as determined by the Korea Communications Commission at the time of allocation. In June 2011, the Korea Communications Commission announced its plan to auction in August 2011 the right to use 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum that we are scheduled to relinquish at the end of June 2011, 10 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 800 MHz spectrum and 20 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. According to the plan, a maximum of 20 MHz of bandwidth may be sold to a single service provider, and SK Telecom and we are prohibited from bidding for the 20 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. If we are allocated the bandwidths in the 800 MHz or the 1.8 GHz spectrums, we expect to pay usage fees for such bandwidths. The growth of our mobile telecommunications business and the increase in usage of wireless data transmission services have been significant factors in the increased utilization of our bandwidth, since wireless data applications are generally more bandwidth-intensive than voice services. The current trend of increasing data transmission use and the increasing sophistication of multimedia contents are likely to put additional strain on the bandwidth capacity of mobile service providers. In the event we are unable to maintain sufficient bandwidth capacity by renewing existing bandwidth spectrum, receiving additional bandwidth allocation, or cost-effectively implementing technologies that enhance bandwidth usage efficiency, our subscribers may perceive a general decrease in quality of mobile telecommunications services. No assurance can be given that bandwidth constraints will not adversely affect the growth of our mobile telecommunications business.

Termination of our second generation Personal Communications Service (or 2G PCS) services may pose risks to us.

We have been providing our 2G PCS services based on CDMA wireless network standards through our 40 MHz bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum, which allocation is expected to terminate at the end of June 2011. As part of our decision to apply for reallocation, we have applied to the Korea Communications Commission to terminate our existing 2G PCS services, which we expect to be able

 

7


Table of Contents

to terminate in the second half of 2011. Accordingly, our existing 2G PCS subscribers must either convert to our W-CDMA services or switch to other telecommunications companies. As of December 31, 2010, there were 1,393 thousand subscribers of our 2G PCS services. We are offering benefits such as substantial discounts on W-CDMA-compatible handsets and monthly subscription fees starting in March 2011 to encourage our existing subscribers to switch to our W-CDMA services. However, there can be no assurance that we will not incur reputational damage from terminating our 2G PCS services, such termination will not lead to a material decrease in the number of our mobile subscribers, or complaints and other potential actions of our 2G PCS subscribers will not adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Introduction of new services poses challenges and risks to us.

The telecommunications industry is characterized by continual advances and improvements in telecommunications technology, and we have been continually researching and implementing technology upgrades and additional telecommunication services to maintain our competitiveness. For example, in March 2005, we acquired a license to provide wireless broadband Internet access (or WiBro) service for (Won)126 billion, and commercially launched our service in June 2006. We completed the upgrade of our 4G WiBro network and expanded our WiBro service coverage to 82 cities nationwide and major highways as of March 2011, which we believe will allow us to provide WiBro services at speeds that are approximately three times faster than our previous 3G network at a lower cost, and had approximately 377 thousand subscribers as of December 31, 2010. In addition, we are currently upgrading our broadband network to enable FTTH connection, which enhances downstream speed and connection quality. FTTH is a telecommunication architecture in which a communication path is provided over optical fiber cables extending from the telecommunications operator’s switching equipment to the boundary of home or office. FTTH uses fiber optic cable, which is able to carry a high-bandwidth signal for longer distances without degradation. FTTH enables us to deliver enhanced products and services that require high bandwidth, such as IP-TV service and delivery of other digital media content. No assurance can be given that our new services will gain broad market acceptance such that we will be able to derive revenues from such services to justify the license fee, capital expenditures and other investments required to provide such services.

Disputes with our labor union may disrupt our business operations.

In the past, we have experienced opposition from our labor union for our strategy of restructuring to improve our efficiency and profitability by disposing of non-core businesses and reducing our employee base. Although we have not experienced any significant labor disputes or unrests in recent years, there can be no assurance that we will not experience labor disputes or unrests in the future, including expanded protests and strikes, which could disrupt our business operations and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We also negotiate collective bargaining agreements every two years with our labor union and annually negotiate a wage agreement. Our current collective bargaining agreement expires on May 23, 2013. Although we have been able to reach collective bargaining agreements and wage agreements with our labor union in recent years, there can be no assurance that we will not experience labor disputes and unrests resulting from disagreements with the labor union in the future.

The Korean telecommunications and Internet protocol broadcasting industries are subject to extensive Government regulations, and changes in Government policy relating to these industries could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition.

The Government, primarily through the Korea Communications Commission, has authority to regulate the telecommunications industry. The Korea Communications Commission’s policy is to

 

8


Table of Contents

promote competition in the Korean telecommunications markets through measures designed to prevent the dominant service provider in any such market from exercising its market power in such a way as to prevent the emergence and development of viable competitors.

Under current Government regulations, if a network service provider has the largest market share for a specified type of service and its revenue from that service for the previous year exceeds a specific revenue amount set by the Korea Communications Commission, it must obtain prior approval from the Korea Communications Commission for the rates and the general terms for that service. Each year the Korea Communications Commission designates service providers the rates and the general terms of which must be approved by the Korea Communications Commission. In recent years, the Korea Communications Commission has so designated us for local telephone service and SK Telecom for mobile service, and the Korea Communications Commission, in consultation with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, currently approves rates charged by us and SK Telecom for such services. In June 2011, SK Telecom announced tariff reduction measures, including a reduction of the monthly fee by (Won)1,000 for every subscriber, an exemption of usage charges for short text message service, or SMS, up to 50 messages per month and the introduction of flexible service plans for smartphone users. The Korea Communications Commission currently does not regulate our domestic long-distance, international long-distance, broadband internet access and mobile service rates, but the inability to freely set our local telephone service rates may hurt profits from such business and impede our ability to compete effectively against our competitors. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—Item 4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Rates.” The form of our standard agreement for providing local network service and each agreement for interconnection with other service providers are also subject to approval by the Korea Communications Commission.

The Government also sets the policies regarding the use of radio frequencies and allocates the spectrum of radio frequencies used for wireless telecommunications. On April 29, 2010, the Korea Communications Commission announced its decision to allocate 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum to us, 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 800 MHz spectrum to LG U+ (consisting of 15 MHz of bandwidth that is scheduled to be relinquished by SK Telecom by the end of June 2011 following expiration of its license period and 5 MHz of currently unused bandwidth) and 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum to SK Telecom, which SK Telecom began using in June 2010. New allocations of bandwidth to us and LG U+ will become effective on July 1, 2011. We expect to pay a portion of the actual sales generated from using the bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum during the license period of 10 years as a usage fee for the bandwidth, as well as a portion of expected sales as determined by the Korea Communications Commission at the time of allocation. In June 2011, the Korea Communications Commission announced its plan to auction in August 2011 the right to use 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum that we are scheduled to relinquish at the end of June 2011, 10 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 800 MHz spectrum and 20 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. According to the plan, a maximum of 20 MHz of bandwidth may be sold to a single service provider, and SK Telecom and we are prohibited from bidding for the 20 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. If we are allocated the bandwidths in the 800 MHz or the 1.8 GHz spectrums, we expect to pay usage fees for such bandwidths. The new allocations of bandwidth could increase competition among wireless service providers, which may have an adverse effect on our business.

We also plan to put more focus on the Internet protocol (or IP) media market, and we began offering IP-TV service on November 17, 2008. IP-TV is a service which combines video-on-demand services with real-time high definition broadcasting via broadband networks. The Korea Communications Commission has the authority to regulate the IP media market, including IP-TV services. Under the Internet Multimedia Broadcasting Business Act, anyone intending to engage in the IP media broadcasting business must obtain a license from the Korea Communications Commission, and anyone intending to engage in the broadcasting of certain contents must obtain additional approval of the Korea Communications Commission. In addition, KT Skylife Co. (formerly Korea Digital Satellite

 

9


Table of Contents

Broadcasting Co., Ltd.), which became our consolidated subsidiary starting in 2011, offers satellite TV services, which may also be packaged with our IP-TV services. KT Skylife is also subject to the regulation of the Korea Communications Commission pursuant to the Korea Broadcasting Act.

Government policies and regulations relating to the above as well as other regulations involving the Korean telecommunications and IP broadcasting industries (including as a result of the implementation of free trade agreements between Korea and other countries, including the United States and the European Union) may change, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—Item 4.B. Business Overview—Regulation.”

We are subject to various regulations under the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act.

The Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act provides for various regulations and restrictions on large business groups enforced by the Korea Fair Trade Commission. The Korea Fair Trade Commission initially designated us as a large business group under the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act on April 1, 2002. Our business relationships and transactions with our subsidiaries, affiliates and other companies within the KT Group are subject to ongoing scrutiny by the Fair Trade Commission as to, among other things, whether such relationships and transactions constitute undue financial support among companies of the same business group. We are also subject to the fair trade regulations limiting cross-guarantee of debt and cross-shareholdings among member companies of the same group. Any future determination by the Korea Fair Trade Commission that we have engaged in transactions that violate the fair trade laws and regulations may result in fines or other punitive measures and may have a material adverse effect on our reputation and our business.

Concerns that radio frequency emissions may be linked to various health concerns could adversely affect our business and we could be subject to litigation relating to these health concerns.

In the past, allegations that serious health risks may result from the use of wireless telecommunications devices or other transmission equipment have adversely affected share prices of some wireless telecommunications companies in the United States. In May 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) announced that it has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields associated with wireless phone use as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer. The IARC is part of the World Health Organization that conducts research on the causes of human cancer and the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and aims to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. We cannot assure you that such health concerns will not adversely affect our business. Several class action and personal injury lawsuits have been filed in the United States against several wireless phone manufacturers and carriers, asserting product liability, breach of warranty and other claims relating to radio transmissions to and from wireless phones. Certain of these lawsuits have been dismissed. We could be subject to liability or incur significant costs defending lawsuits brought by our subscribers or other parties who claim to have been harmed by or as a result of our services. In addition, the actual or perceived risk of wireless telecommunications devices could have an adverse effect on us by reducing our number of subscribers or our usage per subscriber.

Depreciation of the value of the Won against the Dollar and other major foreign currencies may have a material adverse effect on the results of our operations and on the prices of our securities.

Substantially all of our revenues are denominated in Won. Depreciation of the Won may materially affect the results of our operations because, among other things, it causes an increase in the

 

10


Table of Contents

amount of Won required by us to make interest and principal payments on our foreign-currency-denominated debt, the costs of telecommunications equipment that we purchase from overseas sources, net settlement payments to foreign carriers and administrations and certain payments related to our derivative instruments entered into for foreign exchange risk hedging purposes. Of the (Won)7,248 billion total principal amount of long-term debt (excluding current portion) outstanding as of December 31, 2010, (Won)2,188 billion was denominated in foreign currencies with an average weighted interest rate of 4.70%. The interest rates of such long-term debt denominated in foreign currencies ranged from 0.77% (for US$100 million notes with a floating interest rate of three month London Interbank Offered Rate plus 0.47%) to 16.50% (for Uzbekistani Som 2,259,000 (approximately US$1.4 million) fixed rate notes issued by East Telecom, our subsidiary located in Uzbekistan). See “Item 3. Key Information—Item 3.A. Select Financial Data—Exchange Rate Information”, “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources” and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk—Interest Rate Risk.”

Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Won and the Dollar will also affect the Dollar equivalent of the Won price of the shares of our common stock on the KRX KOSPI Market and, as a result, will likely affect the market price of the ADSs. These fluctuations will also affect the Dollar conversion by the depositary for the ADRs of cash dividends, if any, paid in Won on shares of common stock represented by the ADSs.

Risks Relating to Korea

Korea is our most important market, and our current business and future growth could be materially and adversely affected if economic conditions in Korea deteriorate.

Substantially all of our operations, customers and assets are located in Korea. Accordingly, the performance and successful fulfillment of our operational strategies are necessarily dependent on the overall Korean economy and the resulting impact on the demand for telecommunications services. The economic indicators in Korea in recent years have shown mixed signs of growth and uncertainty, and future growth of the economy is subject to many factors beyond our control.

The Korean economy is closely tied to, and is affected by developments in, the global economy. Recent difficulties affecting the U.S. and global financial sectors, adverse conditions and volatility in the worldwide credit and financial markets, fluctuations in oil and commodity prices and the general weakness of the U.S. and global economy have increased the uncertainty of global economic prospects in general and have adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, the Korean economy. Due to recent liquidity and credit concerns and volatility in the global financial markets, the value of the Won relative to the Dollar has also fluctuated significantly in recent years. Furthermore, as a result of adverse global and Korean economic conditions, there has been continuing volatility in the stock prices of Korean companies. While the rate of deterioration of the global economy slowed in the second half of 2009, with some signs of stabilization and improvement in 2010, the overall prospects for the Korean and global economy in 2011 and beyond remain uncertain. Any future deterioration of the Korean or global economy could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Developments that could have an adverse impact on Korea’s economy in the future include:

 

   

difficulties in the housing and financial sectors in the United States and elsewhere and increased sovereign default risks in select countries and the resulting adverse effects on the global financial markets;

 

   

declines in consumer confidence and a slowdown in consumer spending;

 

11


Table of Contents
   

adverse changes or volatility in foreign currency reserve levels, commodity prices, exchange rates (including fluctuation of the Dollar or Japanese Yen exchange rates or revaluation of the Chinese renminbi), interest rates, inflation rates or stock markets;

 

   

continuing adverse conditions in the economies of countries that are important export markets for Korea, such as the United States, Japan and China, or in emerging market economies in Asia or elsewhere;

 

   

increasing delinquencies and credit defaults by retail and small- and medium-sized enterprise borrowers;

 

   

the continued emergence of the Chinese economy, to the extent its benefits (such as increased exports to China) are outweighed by its costs (such as competition in export markets or for foreign investment and the relocation of the manufacturing base from Korea to China);

 

   

the economic impact of any pending or future free trade agreements;

 

   

social and labor unrest;

 

   

substantial decreases in the market prices of Korean real estate;

 

   

a decrease in tax revenues and a substantial increase in the Korean government’s expenditures for fiscal stimulus measures, unemployment compensation and other economic and social programs that, together, would lead to an increased government budget deficit;

 

   

financial problems or lack of progress in the restructuring of Korean conglomerates, other large troubled companies, their suppliers or the financial sector;

 

   

loss of investor confidence arising from corporate accounting irregularities and corporate governance issues at certain Korean conglomerates;

 

   

geo-political uncertainty and risk of further attacks by terrorist groups around the world;

 

   

the occurrence of severe health epidemics in Korea and other parts of the world;

 

   

deterioration in economic or diplomatic relations between Korea and its trading partners or allies, including deterioration resulting from trade disputes or disagreements in foreign policy;

 

   

political uncertainty or increasing strife among or within political parties in Korea;

 

   

hostilities or political or social tensions involving oil producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa and any material disruption in the supply of oil or increase in the price of oil;

 

   

the occurrence of severe earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters in Korea and other parts of the world, particularly in trading partners (such as the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, which also resulted in the release of radioactive materials from a nuclear plant that had been damaged by the earthquake); and

 

   

an increase in the level of tensions or an outbreak of hostilities between North Korea and Korea or the United States.

 

12


Table of Contents

Escalations in tensions with North Korea could have an adverse effect on us.

Relations between Korea and North Korea have been tense throughout Korea’s modern history. The level of tension between the two Koreas has fluctuated and may increase abruptly as a result of current and future events. In recent years, there have been heightened security concerns stemming from North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs and increased uncertainty regarding North Korea’s actions and possible responses from the international community. In January 2003, North Korea renounced its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Since the renouncement, Korea, the United States, North Korea, China, Japan and Russia have held numerous rounds of six party multi-lateral talks in an effort to resolve issues relating to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

In addition to conducting test flights of long-range missiles, North Korea announced in October 2006 that it had successfully conducted a nuclear test, which increased tensions in the region and elicited strong objections worldwide. In May 2009, North Korea announced that it had successfully conducted a second nuclear test and test-fired three short-range surface-to-air missiles. In response, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution in June 2009 that condemned North Korea for the nuclear test and decided to expand and tighten sanctions against North Korea. In March 2010, a Korean warship was destroyed by an underwater explosion, killing many of the crewmen on board. The government formally accused North Korea of causing the sinking in May 2010, and North Korea has denied responsibility for the sinking and has threatened retaliation for any attempt to punish it for the act. On November 23, 2010, North Korean forces fired more than one hundred artillery shells targeting Yeonpyeong Island located near the maritime border between Korea and North Korea on the west coast of the Korean peninsula, killing two Korean soldiers and two civilians as well as causing substantial property damage. Korea responded by firing approximately 80 artillery shells and putting the military on its highest alert level. The Government condemned North Korea for the act and vowed stern retaliation should there be further provocation.

In addition, there recently has been increased uncertainty with respect to the future of North Korea’s political leadership and concern regarding its implications for political stability in the region. On September 28, 2010, Kim Jong-il, the North Korean ruler who reportedly suffered a stroke in August 2008, named Kim Jong-un, his third son who is reported to be in his twenties, as the vice chairperson of the Central Military Commission and the general of the North Korean army. Although Kim Jong-il has designated his son to be his successor, the implementation of the succession plan remains uncertain. North Korea’s economy also faces severe challenges. In November 2009, the North Korean government redenominated its currency at a ratio of 100 to 1 as part of a currency reform undertaken in an attempt to control inflation and reduce income gaps. Such developments may further aggravate social and political tensions within North Korea.

Reunification of the two Koreas could occur in the future. Reunification may entail a significant economic commitment by Korea. In President Lee Myung Bak’s national address on August 15, 2010, he suggested the possible adoption of a reunification tax in order to prepare for long-term economic burden associated with reunification. Such discussions on reunification are very preliminary, and it has not been decided whether or when such tax would be implemented. If a reunification tax is implemented, it may lead to a decrease in domestic consumption, which in turn may have a material adverse effect on the Korean economy. In addition, there can be no assurance that the level of tension on the Korean peninsula will not escalate in the future. Any further increase in tension, which may occur, for example, if North Korea experiences a leadership crisis, high-level contacts between Korea and North Korea break down or military hostilities occur, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

13


Table of Contents

Risks Relating to the Securities

If an investor surrenders his ADSs to withdraw the underlying shares, he may not be allowed to deposit the shares again to obtain ADSs.

Korean law currently limits foreign ownership of the ADSs and our shares. In addition, under our deposit agreement, the depositary bank cannot accept deposits of shares and deliver ADSs representing those shares unless (1) we have consented to such deposit or (2) Korean counsel has advised the depositary bank that the consent required under (1) is no longer required under Korean laws and regulations. Under current Korean laws and regulations, the depositary bank is required to obtain our prior consent for the number of shares to be deposited in any given proposed deposit which exceeds the difference between (1) the aggregate number of shares deposited by us or with our consent for the issuance of ADSs (including deposits in connection with the initial and all subsequent offerings of ADSs and stock dividends or other distributions related to these ADSs) and (2) the number of shares on deposit with the depositary bank at the time of such proposed deposit. The depositary bank has informed us that, at a time it considers to be appropriate, the depositary bank plans to start accepting deposits of shares without our consent and to deliver ADSs representing those shares up to the amount allowed under current Korean laws and regulations. Until such time, however, the depositary bank will continue to obtain our consent for such deposits of shares and delivery of ADSs, which we may not provide. Consequently, if an investor surrenders his ADSs to withdraw the underlying shares, he may not be allowed to deposit the shares again to obtain ADSs. See “Item 10. Additional Information—Item 10.D. Exchange Controls.”

A foreign investor may not be able to exercise voting rights with respect to common shares exceeding the number of common shares held by our largest domestic shareholder.

Under the Telecommunications Business Act, a foreign shareholder who holds 5.0% or more of our total shares is prohibited from becoming our largest shareholder. However, any foreign shareholder who held 5.0% or more of our total shares and was our largest shareholder on or prior to May 9, 2004 is exempt from the regulations, provided that such foreign shareholder may not acquire any more of our shares. Under the Telecommunications Business Act, the Korea Communications Commission may, if it deems it necessary to preserve substantial public interests, prohibit a foreign shareholder from being our largest shareholder. In addition, the Foreign Investment Promotion Act prohibits any foreign shareholder from being our largest shareholder if such shareholder owns 5.0% or more of our shares with voting rights. In the event that any foreigner or foreign government acquires our shares in violation of the above provisions, such foreign shareholder may not be able to exercise voting rights with respect to common shares exceeding such threshold. The Korea Communications Commission may also order us or the foreign shareholder to take corrective measures in respect of the excess shares within a specified period of six months or less.

Holders of ADSs will not be able to exercise dissenter’s rights unless they have withdrawn the underlying common stock and become our direct shareholders.

In some limited circumstances, including the transfer of the whole or any significant part of our business and our merger or consolidation with another company, dissenting shareholders have the right to require us to purchase their shares under Korean law. A holder of ADSs will not be able to exercise dissenter’s rights unless he has withdrawn the underlying common stock and become our direct shareholder. See “Item 10. Additional Information—Item 10.B. Memorandum and Articles of Association.”

 

14


Table of Contents

An investor may not be able to exercise preemptive rights for additional shares and may suffer dilution of his equity interest in us.

The Commercial Code of Korea and our articles of incorporation require us, with some exceptions, to offer shareholders the right to subscribe for new shares in proportion to their existing ownership percentage whenever new shares are issued. If we offer any rights to subscribe for additional shares of our common stock or any rights of any other nature, the depositary bank, after consultation with us, may make the rights available to an ADS holder or use reasonable efforts to dispose of the rights on behalf of the ADS holder and make the net proceeds available to the ADS holder. The depositary bank, however, is not required to make available to an ADS holder any rights to purchase any additional shares unless it deems that doing so is lawful and feasible and:

 

   

a registration statement filed by us under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, is in effect with respect to those shares; or

 

   

the offering and sale of those shares is exempt from or is not subject to the registration requirements of the Securities Act.

We are under no obligation to file any registration statement. If a registration statement is required for an ADS holder to exercise preemptive rights but is not filed by us, the ADS holder will not be able to exercise his preemptive rights for additional shares. As a result, the ADS holder may suffer dilution of his equity interest in us.

Korean GAAP differs in significant respects from accounting standards applicable in certain other countries, including U.S. GAAP and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Our financial statements included in this annual report are prepared in accordance with Korean GAAP and reconciled to U.S. GAAP. Korean GAAP differs in significant respects from accounting standards applicable in certain other countries, including U.S. GAAP. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Item 5.B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—U.S. GAAP Reconciliation” and “—Recent Accounting Pronouncements in U.S. GAAP” and Note 38 to Consolidated Financial Statements.

In March 2007, the Financial Services Commission and the Korea Accounting Institute announced a road map for the adoption of the Korean equivalent of International Financial Reporting Standards (“Korean IFRS”), pursuant to which all listed companies in Korea, including us, will be required to prepare their annual financial statements beginning in 2011 that differ in certain respects from International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) applied in other countries.

In preparation of such adoption, we began preparing our internal financial statements under both Korean GAAP and Korean IFRS starting in January 2010. Beginning in 2011, we have discontinued reporting under Korean GAAP with reconciliation to U.S. GAAP and instead have commenced reporting under Korean IFRS and we also plan to release annual financial statements prepared pursuant to IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, or IASB. Although our accounting department is currently analyzing the effects of adopting IFRS on our annual financial statements, it is not possible to estimate with any degree of certainty the exact impact on our annual financial statements from such adoption because the IFRS accounting policies to be adopted by us for such financial statements have not been finalized. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the adoption of IFRS will not adversely affect our reporting results of operations or financial condition.

 

15


Table of Contents

Forward-looking statements may prove to be inaccurate.

This annual report contains “forward-looking statements” that are based on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about our company and our industry. The forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “project,” “should,” and similar expressions. Those statements include, among other things, the discussions of our business strategy and expectations concerning our market position, future operations, margins, profitability, liquidity and capital resources. We caution you that reliance on any forward-looking statement involves risks and uncertainties, and that although we believe that the assumptions on which our forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, any of those assumptions could prove to be inaccurate, and, as a result, the forward-looking statements based on those assumptions could be incorrect. The uncertainties in this regard include, but are not limited to, those identified in the risk factors discussed above. In light of these and other uncertainties, you should not conclude that we will necessarily achieve any plans and objectives or projected financial results referred to in any of the forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to release the results of any revisions of these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

Item 4.  Information on the Company

Item 4.A.  History and Development of the Company

In 1981, the Government established us under the Korea Telecom Act to operate the telecommunications services business that it previously directly operated. Under the Korea Telecom Act and the Government-Invested Enterprises Management Basic Act, the Government exercised substantial control over our business and affairs. Effective October 1, 1997, the Korea Telecom Act was repealed and the Government-Invested Enterprises Management Basic Act became inapplicable to us. As a result, we became a corporation under the Commercial Code, and our corporate organization and shareholders’ rights were governed by the Privatization Law and the Commercial Code. Among other things, we began to exercise greater autonomy in setting our annual budget and making investments in the telecommunications industry, and our shareholders began electing our directors, who used to be appointed by the Government under the Korea Telecom Act.

Prior to 1993, the Government owned all of the issued shares of our common stock. From 1993 through May 2002, the Government disposed of all of its equity interest in us, and the Privatization Law ceased to apply to us in August 2002. We amended our legal name from Korea Telecom Corp. to KT Corporation in March 2002.

Before December 1991, we were the sole provider of local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone services in Korea. The Government began to introduce competition in the telecommunications services market in the early 1990’s. As a result, including ourselves, there are currently three local telephone service providers, five domestic long-distance carriers and numerous international long-distance carriers (including voice resellers) in Korea. In addition, the Government awarded licenses to several service providers to promote competition in other telecommunications business areas such as mobile telephone services and data network services. On June 1, 2009, KTF merged into KT Corporation, with KT Corporation surviving the merger, with the objective of maximizing management efficiencies of our fixed-line and mobile telecommunications operations as well as more effectively responding to the convergence trends in the telecommunications industry. See “Item 4.B. Business Overview—Competition.”

 

16


Table of Contents

Our legal and commercial name is KT Corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 206 Jungja-dong, Bundang-ku, Sungnam, Gyunggi-do, Korea, and our telephone number is (8231)  727-0114.

Item 4.B.  Business Overview

We are the leading telecommunications service provider in Korea and one of the largest and most advanced in Asia. As an integrated telecommunications service provider, our principal services include:

 

   

mobile telecommunications services;

 

   

telephone services, including local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance fixed-line and VoIP telephone services and interconnection services to other telecommunications companies;

 

   

broadband Internet access service and other Internet-related services, including IP-TV services; and

 

   

various other services, including leased line service and other data communication service, satellite service and information technology and network services such as cloud computing services.

Leveraging on our dominant position in the fixed-line telephone services market and our established customer base in Korea, we have successfully pursued new growth opportunities during the past decade and obtained strong market positions in each of our principal lines of business. In particular:

 

   

in the mobile services market in Korea, we achieved a market share of 31.6% with approximately 16.0 million subscribers as of December 31, 2010;

 

   

in the fixed-line telephone services market in Korea, we continue to be the dominant provider with approximately 25.5 million installed lines, of which 16.6 million lines were in service as of December 31, 2010. As of such date, our market share of the local market was 86.3% and our market share of the domestic long-distance market was 82.2%;

 

   

we are Korea’s largest broadband Internet access provider with 7.4 million subscribers as of December 31, 2010, representing a market share of 43.1%; and

 

   

we are also the leading provider of data communication services in Korea.

For the year ended December 31, 2010, under Korean GAAP, our operating revenues were (Won)21,331 billion, our net income was (Won)1,193 billion and our basic net income per share was (Won)4,803. As of December 31, 2010, our total shareholders’ equity was (Won)11,496 billion.

Business Strategy

We believe the telecommunications market in Korea will continue to expand due to Korea’s growing economy, consumers’ willingness to adopt new technologies, relatively high income and a relatively large middle class. In order to enhance the management efficiencies of our mobile and fixed-line telecommunications operations as well as more effectively respond to the convergence trends in the telecommunications industry, KTF merged into KT Corporation on June 1, 2009, with

 

17


Table of Contents

KT Corporation surviving the merger. We also restructured our organization into three sub-groups, the Home Customer Group, the Personal Customer Group and the Enterprise Customer Group, so that we may more effectively address differing needs of our customer segments. Consistent with our strategic objectives, we aim to pursue growth through the following four core areas:

 

   

Home Customer Group. We aim to offer a one-stop-shop that satisfies various information technology and telecommunications needs of a household. In 2010, we launched a new brand “olleh” to promote our bundled products, which include broadband Internet access service, IP-TV service, Internet phone service and fixed-line telephone service. We aim to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by providing broadband Internet access service using high-speed fiber-to-the-home (or FTTH) connection and offering Internet phone service with value-added features such as video communication, short message service and phone banking. We also began offering real-time broadcasting service on our IP-TV service starting in November 2008.

 

   

Personal Customer Group. Our Personal Customer Group focuses on expanding our wireless data communication business to meet the rising demand for broadband Internet access using advanced wireless data communications devices such as smart phones. We are working closely with handset manufacturers to expand our offerings of smart phones and handsets designed to promote convergence of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services, as well as promote development of various applications for such devices. In line with this strategy, we began offering Apple’s iPhone for the first time in Korea on November 28, 2009 and have expanded our offerings of smart phones from other mobile handset manufacturers. We believe that our WiBro network, which enables two-way wireless broadband Internet access to portable computers, mobile phones and other portable devices, as well as our extensive wireless LAN networks installed nationwide, enable our subscribers to maximize effective usage of their smart phones. We plan to take advantage of our industry-leading network infrastructure to attract more customers as this market further develops. In addition, we aim to further enhance our position in the mobile telecommunications market by leveraging on our strong brand, nationwide marketing network, competitive data usage rates, call centers dedicated to smart phone users, creative marketing strategies that address our potential customers’ needs and ability to bundle various mobile and fixed-line services. We also plan to further expand our contents and applications for smart phone users and mobile data users by cooperating with application developers in Korea and abroad, in order to further solidify our position as a leader in the convergence market.

 

   

Enterprise Customer Group. We aim to provide our corporate customers, small- and medium-sized enterprises and government agencies with one-stop solution services including designing data communications and information technology infrastructure to overseeing their day-to-day operations with the objective of achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings. We provide solutions specifically tailored for individual clients, as well as Internet-based computing services, whereby shared resources, software and information are delivered from our data centers and servers. For example, we designed an urban transit infrastructure maintenance system for the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, in which workers are able to utilize their smart phones to report back their maintenance results to the headquarters remotely from the maintenance site. Leveraging our extensive customer base, we plan to further expand the range of innovative solutions for our enterprise customers.

 

   

Convergence. We believe that convergence of fixed-line and mobile communications technologies provides a competitive advantage to us because we have the technological

 

18


Table of Contents
 

know-how and experience to design and construct a unified delivery platform for a new generation of value-added services. We plan to make such platform more readily available to others so that they may create additional contents and convenience solutions such as electronic commerce and digital transaction applications that can be utilized anywhere using various media and communications devices.

The Telecommunications Industry in Korea

The Korean telecommunications industry is one of the most developed in Asia. According to the Korea Communications Commission, the number of mobile subscribers in Korea was 50.8 million and the number of broadband Internet access subscribers in Korea was 17.2 million as of December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the mobile penetration rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of mobile subscribers (including multiple counting of those who subscribe to more than one mobile service) by the population of Korea, was 103.9%, and the broadband Internet penetration rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of broadband Internet access service subscribers (including multiple counting of those who subscribe to more than one broadband Internet access service) by the number of households in Korea, was 100.4%.

Mobile Telecommunications Service Market

The Korean cellular market was formally established in 1984 when SK Telecom, formerly Korea Mobile Telecom, became the first mobile telephone operator in Korea. SK Telecom remained the only cellular operator in Korea until Shinsegi Telecom began service in 1994. In order to encourage further market growth and competition, the Ministry of Information and Communication awarded three PCS licenses in June 1996. KTF was awarded a license alongside LG U+ and Hansol M.com, and commercial PCS service was launched in October 1997.

Since the introduction of three new operators in 1997, the Korean mobile market has undergone consolidation and significant growth. Following SK Telecom’s purchase of a controlling stake in Shinsegi, we acquired a 47.9% interest in Hansol M.com in 2000 and renamed the company KT M.com. KT M.com merged into KTF in May 2001 and Shinsegi merged into SK Telecom in January 2002. On June 1, 2009, KTF merged into KT Corporation, with KT Corporation surviving the merger. KT Corporation, SK Telecom and LG U+ have invested in networks compatible with Evolution-Data Optimized (or EV-DO) handsets that allow subscribers to enjoy 2.5 generation high speed wireless data services. KT Corporation and SK Telecom also offer third-generation, high-capacity HSDPA-based IMT-2000 wireless Internet and video multimedia communications services that use significantly greater bandwidth capacity.

The table below gives the subscription and penetration information of the mobile telecommunications industry for the periods indicated:

 

     As of December 31,  
     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010  

Total Korean Population (1)

     48,378        48,457        48,607        48,747        48,875   

Mobile Subscribers (2)

     40,197        43,498        45,607        47,944        50,767   

Mobile Subscriber Growth Rate

     4.8     8.2     4.9     5.1     5.9

Mobile Penetration (3)

     83.1     89.8     93.8     98.4     103.9

 

 

(1) In thousands, based on population trend estimates by the National Statistical Office of Korea.

 

(2) In thousands, based on information announced by the Korea Communications Commission.

 

(3) Penetration is determined by dividing mobile subscribers by total Korean population.

 

19


Table of Contents

Broadband Internet Access Market

With the advancement of broadband technology, the Korean broadband Internet access market has experienced significant growth. The principal technologies used in providing high speed Internet access services are xDSL, HFC and fiber optic LAN. xDSL refers to various types of digital subscriber lines, including ADSL and VDSL. xDSL offers an access solution over existing telephone lines using a specialized modem while HFC service involves the use of two-way cable networks. Fiber optic LAN is a technology that combines fiber optic cables and Unshielded Twisted Pair (or UTP) cables. Fiber optic cables are connected to residential and commercial buildings with UTP cable-based LAN capabilities. While xDSL and HFC are more widely used technologies because of their relative reliability, ease of provisioning and cost effectiveness, fiber optic LAN usage in Korea has been steadily increasing in recent years.

Since the subscribers of two-way cable networks share a limited bandwidth, the downstream speed tends to slow down as the number of subscribers increases, thereby decreasing the quality of HFC-based service. While xDSL technology was commercially introduced after HFC technology, it has surpassed HFC to become the prevalent broadband access platform in Korea. VDSL, ADSL-based technology with enhanced downstream speed, became commercialized in 2002. Some of the service providers have upgraded their broadband network to provide fiber optic LAN-based service to their subscribers, which further enhances data transmission speed up to 100 Mbps as well as improves connection quality, and enables such service providers to offer video-on-demand services with real-time high definition broadcasting.

In recent years, broadband Internet access service providers and mobile telecommunications service providers have focused their attention to provide wireless Internet connection capabilities. They have introduced wireless LAN service with speeds of up to 155 Mbps, which is designed to integrate fixed-line and wireless services by offering high speed wireless Internet access to laptops, PDAs and smart phones in hot-spot zones and at home. Some service providers have also developed wireless Internet networks to provide WiBro service, which enables two-way wireless broadband Internet access to portable computers, mobile phones and other portable devices at a speed averaging 3 Mbps.

Our Services

Mobile Service

We provide mobile services based on CDMA technology and W-CDMA technology. Prior to the merger of KTF into KT Corporation, we provided such services through KTF, which was formerly a consolidated subsidiary. On June 1, 2009, KTF merged into KT Corporation, with KT Corporation surviving the merger, with the objective of maximizing management efficiencies of our fixed-line and mobile telecommunications operations as well as more effectively responding to the convergence trends in the telecommunications industry. KTF obtained one of the three licenses to provide nationwide PCS service in June 1996 and began offering PCS service in October 1997. PCS service is a digital wireless telephone and data transmission system based on CDMA wireless network standards that uses portable handsets with long battery life to communicate via low-power antennae. KTF also began offering HSDPA-based IMT-2000 services, which are third-generation, high-capacity wireless Internet and video multimedia communications services based on W-CDMA wireless network standards that allow an operator to provide to its subscribers significantly more bandwidth capacity.

We have been providing our 2G PCS services based on CDMA wireless network standards through our 40 MHz bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum, which allocation is scheduled to terminate at the end of June 2011. As part of our decision to apply for reallocation, we have applied to the Korea

 

20


Table of Contents

Communications Commission to terminate our existing 2G PCS services, which we expect to be able to terminate in the second half of 2011. Accordingly, our existing 2G PCS subscribers must either convert to our W-CDMA services or switch to other telecommunications companies. As of December 31, 2010, there were 1,393 thousand subscribers of our 2G PCS services. We are offering benefits such as substantial discounts on W-CDMA-compatible handsets and monthly subscription fees to encourage our existing subscribers to switch to our W-CDMA services.

Revenues related to mobile service accounted for 33.2% of our operating revenues in 2010. In addition, our goods sold, which are primarily from mobile handset sales, accounted for 20.6% of our operating revenues in 2010. The following table shows selected information concerning the usage of our network during the periods indicated and the number of our subscribers as of the end of such periods:

 

     As of or for the Year Ended December 31,  
         2008              2009              2010      

Outgoing Minutes (in millions) (1)

     28,960         30,714         34,570   

Average Monthly Outgoing Minutes per Subscriber (1) (2)

     168         173         184   

Average Monthly Revenue per Subscriber (1) (3)

   (Won) 39,487       (Won) 36,241       (Won) 36,801   

Number of Subscribers (in thousands)

     14,365         15,016         16,041   

 

 

(1) Prior to the merger of KTF into KT Corporation on June 1, 2009, we maintained an air-time reselling arrangement with KTF where we billed directly to our resale subscribers for their usage of KTF’s mobile networks and collected all fees and charges relating to such usage. Such amounts related to resale subscribers are not included in our calculation of outgoing minutes and average monthly outgoing minutes and revenue per subscriber in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, we have included such amounts related to resale subscribers in these calculations.

 

(2) The average monthly outgoing minutes per subscriber is computed by dividing the total minutes of usage for the period by the weighted average number of subscribers for the period and dividing the quotient by the number of months in the period. The weighted average number of subscribers is the sum of the total number of subscribers at the end of each month divided by the number of months in the period.

 

(3) The average monthly revenue per subscriber is computed by dividing initial activation fees, total monthly fees, usage charges, interconnection fees and value-added service fees for the period by the weighted average number of subscribers and dividing the quotient by the number of months in the period.

We compete with SK Telecom, a mobile service provider that has a longer operating history than us, and LG U+ that began its service at around the same time as KTF. As of December 31, 2010, we had approximately 16.0 million subscribers, which was second largest among the three mobile service providers. As of December 31, 2010, we had a market share of 31.6% of the mobile service market.

We market our mobile services primarily through independent exclusive dealers located throughout Korea. As of December 31, 2010, there were approximately 2,200 shops managed by our independent exclusive dealers. In addition to assisting new subscribers to activate mobile service and purchase handsets, authorized dealers are connected to our database and are able to assist customers with account information. Although most of these dealers sell exclusively our products and services, sub-dealers hired by exclusive dealers may sell products and services offered by other mobile telecommunications service providers. Authorized dealers are entitled to a commission for each new subscriber registered, as well as ongoing commissions for the first five years based primarily on the subscriber’s monthly fee, usage charges and length of subscription. The handsets sold by us to the dealers cannot be returned to us unless they are defective. If a handset is defective, it may be exchanged for a new one within 14 days from the date of purchase.

In response to the diversification of our customers’ demands and their increasing sophistication, we have also selectively engaged in opportunities to expand our internal sales channels in recent years. In 2007, we established a wholly-owned subsidiary, KT M&S Co., Ltd., that operates

 

21


Table of Contents

approximately 140 customer plazas that engage in mobile service sales activities as well as provide a one-stop shop for a wide range of other services and products that we offer. We also operate a website to promote and advertise our products and services to the general public and in particular to younger customers who are more familiar with the Internet.

We conduct the screening process for new subscribers with great caution. A potential subscriber must meet all minimum credit criteria before receiving mobile service. The procedure includes checking the history of non-payment and credit information from banks and credit agencies such as the National Information and Credit Evaluation Corporation. Applicants who do not meet the minimum criteria can only subscribe to the mobile service by using a pre-paid card.

Telephone Services

Fixed-line Telephone Services. We utilize our extensive nationwide telephone network to provide fixed-line telephone services, which consist of local, domestic long-distance, international long-distance services and land-to-mobile interconnection services. These fixed-line telephone services accounted for 20.1% of our operating revenues in 2010. Our telephone network includes exchanges, long-distance transmission equipment and fiber optic and copper cables. The following table gives some basic measures of the development of our telephone system:

 

     As of or for the Year Ended December 31,  
     2006      2007      2008      2009      2010  

Total Korean population (thousands) (1)

     48,378         48,457         48,607         48,747         48,875   

Lines installed (thousands) (2)

     26,838         26,671         26,008         25,907         25,524   

Lines in service (thousands) (2)

     20,331         19,980         18,883         17,069         16,620   

Lines in service per 100 inhabitants (3)

     42.0         41.2         38.8         35.0         34.0   

Fiber optic cable (kilometers)

     212,715         267,421         312,232         405,528         448,328   

Number of public telephones installed (thousands)

     218         185         161         144         123   

Domestic long-distance call minutes (millions) (4) (5)

     14,769         13,375         11,591         9,526         7,318   

Local call pulses (millions) (4)

     16,182         14,676         12,449         8,406         7,973   

 

 

(1) Based on population trend estimates by the National Statistical Office of Korea.

 

(2) Including lines used for public telephones but excluding lines dedicated to centralized extension system services for corporate subscribers.

 

(3) Determined based on lines in service and total Korean population.

 

(4) Excluding calls placed from public telephones.

 

(5) Estimated by KT Corporation.

Our domestic long-distance cable network is entirely made up of fiber optic cable and can carry both voice and data transmissions. Compared to conventional materials such as coaxial cable, fiber optic cable provides significantly greater transmission capacity with less signal fading, thus requiring less frequent amplification. In recent years, we have also increased the proportion of our lines that are connected to exchanges capable of handling digital signal technology. A principal limitation of the older analog technology is that applications other than voice communications, such as the transmission of text and computer data, require either separate networks or conversion equipment. Digital systems permit a range of voice, text and data applications to be transmitted simultaneously on the same network. We completed connection of all installed lines to digital exchanges in June 2003.

 

22


Table of Contents

The following table shows the number of minutes of international long-distance calls recorded by us and specific service providers utilizing our international long-distance network in each specified category for each year in the five-year period ended December 31, 2010:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2006      2007      2008      2009      2010  
     (In millions of billed minutes)  

Incoming international long-distance calls

     519.4         627.4         603.7         442.2         523.5   

Outgoing international long-distance calls

     400.9         431.4         398.1         325.9         325.1   
                                            

Total

     920.3         1,058.8         1,001.8         768.1         848.7   
                                            

China (18.5%), United States (17.0%) and Japan (16.8%) accounted for the greatest percentage of our international long-distance call traffic measured in minutes in 2010. In recent years, the volume of our incoming calls exceeded the volume of our outgoing calls. The agreed settlement rate is applied to the call minutes to determine the applicable net settlement payment.

Interconnection. Under the Telecommunications Business Act, we are required to permit other service providers to interconnect to our fixed-line network. Currently, the principal users of this interconnection capacity include SK Broadband and LG U+ (offering local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance services), Onse and SK Telink (offering international and domestic long-distance services), and SK Telecom and LG U+ (transmitting calls to and from their mobile networks). We expect that interconnection revenues and payments will remain important for our results of operations. In recent years, revenues from a landline user for a call initiated by a landline user to a mobile service subscriber (land-to-mobile interconnection) have become a significant portion of our results of operations, accounting for 4.5% of our operating revenues in 2010. We recognize as land-to-mobile interconnection revenue the entire amount of the usage charge collected from the landline user and recognize as an expense the amount of interconnection charge paid to the mobile service provider.

Internet phone services. The volume of calls made through Internet phone services has significantly increased since Internet phone service was first introduced in Korea in 1998. We provide Internet phone services that enable VoIP phone devices with broadband connection to make domestic and international calls. In order to differentiate our Internet phone services from our competitors’ services, we provide value-added services such as video communication, short message service, phone banking and a variety of traffic and local news information. As of December 31, 2010, we had approximately 2.7 million subscribers.

Internet Services

Broadband Internet Access Service. Leveraging on our nationwide network of 448,328 kilometers of fiber optic cable network, we have achieved a leading market position in the broadband Internet access market in Korea. We believe we have a competitive advantage over other broadband Internet access service providers because, unlike our competitors, we can utilize our existing networks nationwide to provide broadband Internet access service. Our broadband Internet access service accounted for 9.1% of our operating revenues in 2010. Our principal Internet access services include:

 

   

ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet and FTTH services under the “olleh Internet” brand name;

 

   

wireless LAN service under the “ollehWiFi” brand name, which is designed to integrate fixed-line and wireless services by offering high speed wireless Internet access to laptops, PDAs and smart phones in hot-spot zones and olleh Internet service in fixed-line environments. OllehWiFi enables subscribers to access the Internet at up to 155 Mbps. We sponsored approximately 42,000 hot-spot zones nationwide for wireless connection as of December 31, 2010; and

 

23


Table of Contents
   

WiBro Internet access service, which enables two-way wireless broadband Internet access to portable computers, mobile phones and other portable devices at a speed averaging 3 Mbps per user.

We had 7.4 million fixed-line olleh Internet subscribers and approximately 266 thousand ollehWiFi service subscribers as of December 31, 2010. We commercially launched our WiBro service in June 2006, and we had approximately 377 thousand subscribers as of December 31, 2010. We also bundle our WiBro service with olleh Internet and ollehWiFi services at a discount in order to attract additional subscribers.

Our olleh Internet service utilizes ADSL technology, which is a technology that converts existing copper twisted-pair telephone lines into access paths for multimedia and high-speed data communications. ADSL transforms the existing public telephone network from one limited to voice, text and low-resolution graphics to a system capable of bringing multimedia to subscriber premises without new cabling. The asymmetric design optimizes the bandwidth by maximizing the downstream speed for downloading information from the Internet. While ADSL technology was commercially introduced after HFC-based technology, it has surpassed HFC to become the prevalent access platform in Korea. VDSL, ADSL-based technology with enhanced downstream speed, became commercialized in July 2002. We are currently upgrading our broadband network to enable FTTH connection, which further enhances downstream speed up to 100 Mbps and connection quality. FTTH is a telecommunication architecture in which a communication path is provided over optical fiber cables extending from the telecommunications operator’s switching equipment to the boundary of home or office. FTTH uses fiber optic cable, which is able to carry a high-bandwidth signal for longer distances without degradation. FTTH enables us to deliver enhanced products and services that require high bandwidth, such as IP-TV service and delivery of other digital media content.

The high-speed downstream rates can reach up to 8 Mbps for ADSL and 100 Mbps for VDSL and FTTH. Downstream rates depend on a number of factors. For a constant wire gauge, the data rate decreases as the length of the copper wire increases. Generally, if the separation between the telephone office and the subscriber is greater than four kilometers, line attenuation is so severe that broadband speeds can no longer be achieved. Approximately 95% of the households subscribing to our basic local telephone service are located within a four kilometer radius of our telephone offices, making our olleh Internet service available to most of the Korean population. Fiber-optic cable used by FTTH, on the other hand, uses laser light to carry signals that travel long distances inside fiber optic cable without degradation.

Other Internet-related Services. Our other Internet-related services focus primarily on providing infrastructure and solutions for business enterprises, as well as IP-TV and network portal services. Our other Internet-related services accounted for 2.9% of our operating revenues in 2010.

We operate seven Internet data centers located throughout Korea and provide a wide range of computing services to companies which need servers, storages and leased lines. Internet data centers are facilities used to house, protect and maintain network server computers that store and deliver Internet and other network content, such as web pages, applications and data. Our Internet data centers are designed to meet international standards, and are equipped with temperature control systems, regulated and reliable power supplies, fire detection and suppression equipment, security monitoring and wide-bandwidth connections to the Internet. Internet data centers allow corporations or Internet service providers to outsource their application and server hardware management.

Our Internet data centers offer network outsourcing services, server operation services and system support services. Our network outsourcing services include co-location, which is the installation of our customers’ network equipment at our Internet data centers. Co-location is designed to increase

 

24


Table of Contents

customers’ Internet connection speed and reduce connection time and costs by directly connecting the customers’ server to the Internet backbone switch at our Internet data centers. Our server operation services include optimal server management service and technical support service we provide with respect to the leased servers that are linked directly to our Internet backbone switch. We also lease servers and network equipment for a fixed monthly fee. Our system support services include providing system resources for a wide range of Internet computing services, such as application transfer, network storage, video streaming and application download, as well as sending short text messages and messages containing multimedia objects, such as images, audio and video.

We also offer a service called Bizmeka to develop and commercialize business-to-business solutions targeting small- and medium-sized business enterprises in Korea. Bizmeka is an applied application service provider which provides industry-specific business solutions, including customer database management and electronic data interchange.

We also offer high definition video-on-demand and real-time broadcasting IP-TV services under the brand name “olleh TV.” Our IP-TV service offers access to an array of digital media contents, including movies, sports, news, educational programs and TV replay, for a fixed monthly fee. Through a digital set-top box that we rent to our customers, our customers are able to browse the catalog of digital media contents and view selected media streams on their television. A set-top box provides two-way communications on an IP network and decodes video streaming data. We expanded our IP-TV service to include real-time broadcasting on November 17, 2008. We had 2.4 million olleh TV subscribers as of March 31, 2011.

Data Communication Service

Our data communication service involves offering exclusive lines that allow point-to-point connection for voice and data traffic between two or more geographically separate points. As of December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010, we leased 374,570 lines, 366,191 lines and 303,009 lines to domestic and international businesses. The data communication service accounted for 6.1% of our operating revenues in 2010.

We provide dedicated and secure broadband Internet connection service to institutional customers under the “Kornet” brand name. We provide high-speed connection up to 4.2 Tbps, as well as rent to our customers and install necessary routers to ensure reliable Internet connection and enhanced security. We provide discount rates to qualified customers, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, businesses engaging in Internet access services and government agencies.

We currently operate three satellites, Koreasat 3, Koreasat 5 and Koreasat 6. We launched Koreasat 3 in September 1999. The design life of Koreasat 3 is twelve years, and it will be used to back up the broadcasting services of Koreasat 6 until the end of its fuel life.

We launched Koreasat 5 in August 2006, which replaced Koreasat 2. Koreasat 5, a combined civil and governmental communications satellite, is the first Korean satellite to provide commercial satellite services to neighboring countries, and the service coverage area includes Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, the eastern part of China and the far-eastern part of Russia. The design life of Koreasat 5 is fifteen years.

We launched Koreasat 6 (also known as olleh 1) in December 2010 to replace Koreasat 3. The design life of Koreasat 6 is fifteen years. Koreasat 6 began its commercial operation in February 2011 and carries transponders that are used for direct-to-home satellite broadcasting, video distributions and data communications services. Most of the direct-to-home satellite broadcasting transponders are utilized by KT Skylife Co. We also lease satellite capacity from other satellite operators to offer commercial satellite services to both domestic and international customers.

 

25


Table of Contents

Miscellaneous Services

We also engage in various business activities that extend beyond telephone services and data communications services, including information technology and network services, real estate development and car rental business. Our miscellaneous services accounted for 8.0% of our operating revenues for 2010.

We offer a broad array of integrated information technology and network services to our business customers. Our range of services include consulting, designing, building and maintaining systems and communication networks that satisfy the individual needs of our customers in the public and private sectors.

We own land and real estate in various locations nationwide. Technological developments have enhanced the coverage area of individual telecommunications facilities, which enable us to better utilize our existing land and other real estate holdings. In recent years, we have engaged in the planning and development of commercial and office buildings and condominiums on our unused sites, as well as in the leasing of buildings we own. We established KT Estate Inc. in August 2010 to oversee the planning, development and operation of our real estate assets.

We also operate KT Rental, a subsidiary that provides rental cars and equipment. In March 2010, MBK Partners, a private equity firm, and we jointly acquired Kumho Rent-A-Car Co., Ltd. from Korea Express Inc. for (Won)245 billion, with each taking a 50% stake. Kumho Rent-A-Car was subsequently merged with the car rental business unit of KT Rental on June 1, 2010. KT Rental operated approximately 58,800 vehicles as of December 31, 2010 and has a market share of 22.8% of the domestic car rental market in 2010.

Revenues and Rates

The table below shows the percentage of our revenues derived from each category of services for each of the years from 2008 through 2010:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
         2008             2009             2010      

Mobile services

     32.8     33.8     33.2

Fixed-line telephone services:

      

Local service

     14.1        13.6        12.0   

Non-refundable service initiation fees

     0.1        0.1        0.1   

Domestic long-distance service

     3.0        2.4        1.8   

International long-distance service

     2.3        2.0        1.7   

Land-to-mobile interconnection

     7.1        5.8        4.5   
                        

Sub-total

     26.6        23.9        20.1   
                        

Internet services:

      

Broadband Internet access service

     10.4        9.9        9.1   

Other Internet-related services (1)

     2.2        2.6        2.9   
                        

Sub-total

     12.6        12.5        12.0   
                        

Goods sold (2)

     15.7        17.3        20.6   

Data communications service (3)

     6.8        6.7        6.1   

Miscellaneous services (4)

     5.5        5.8        8.0   
                        

Operating revenues

     100.0     100.0     100.0
                        

 

 

(1) Includes revenues from services provided by our Internet data centers, Bizmeka and olleh TV.

 

(2) Includes mobile handset sales.

 

(3) Includes revenues from Kornet Internet connection service and satellite services.

 

(4) Includes revenues from information technology and network services, real estate development and car rental business.

 

26


Table of Contents

Mobile Services

We derive revenues from mobile services principally from:

 

   

initial subscription fees;

 

   

monthly fees;

 

   

usage charges for outgoing calls;

 

   

usage charges for wireless data transmission;

 

   

contents download fees; and

 

   

value-added monthly service fees.

We offer various rate plans, including those that offer a specified number of free airtime minutes per month in return for a higher monthly fee and those that are geared toward business customers. In September 2009, we reduced our initial subscription fee for new subscribers by 20% from (Won)30,000 to (Won)24,000. For our HSDPA-based service, we also charge monthly fees, voice calling usage charges and video calling usage charges. Under our standard rate plan for HSDPA-based service, we charge a monthly fee of (Won)12,000, voice calling usage charges of (Won)1.8 per second and video calling usage charges of (Won)3 per second. The following table summarizes charges for our representative HSDPA-based service plans:

 

     Free Voice Call
Airtime Minutes
    Free Video Call
Airtime Minutes
     Monthly Fee  

Standard Plan

     0        0       (Won) 12,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 150 (1)

     150        15         28,500   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 250 (1)

     250        0         35,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Complete Freedom 150 (1) (2)

     150        15         37,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 350 (1)

     350        0         45,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 450 (1)

     450        0         55,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 650 (1)

     650        0         67,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 850 (1)

     850        0         75,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor Gold—Free 2000 (1)

     2,000  (3)      0         97,000   

 

 

(1) Requires mandatory subscription period of 24 months.

 

(2) Includes free unlimited data usage service.

 

(3) Unlimited voice call airtime minutes for calls made to our subscribers.

A subscriber may also subscribe to an individually designed calling rate plan by mixing free voice calling airtime minutes and free text messages at a set monthly fee.

For our PCS service, we charge monthly fees and usage charges. Under our standard rate plan for PCS service, we charge a monthly fee of (Won)12,500 and usage charges of (Won)1.8 per second, and the subscriber is provided with five free minutes. The following table summarizes charges for our representative PCS service plans:

 

     Free Airtime
Minutes
     Free Text
Messages
     Monthly Fee  

Standard

     5         0       (Won) 12,500   

New Double Designated Numbers (1)

     0         50         15,500   

Roll Over (Free 200 Minutes) (2)

     200         0         31,500   

Roll Over (Free 550 Minutes) (2)

     550         0         61,000   

Roll Over (Free 800 Minutes) (2)

     800         0         71,000   

 

 

(1) Discounts of 40% when a subscriber makes calls to up to six pre-designated numbers.

 

(2) Unused free airtime may be transferred to the following month.

 

27


Table of Contents

We also provide plans specially designed for elderly and pre-teen subscribers as well as special discounts to our subscribers with physical disabilities.

In September 2009, we also introduced new rate plans specifically for smart phone users. The following table summarizes charges for our representative smart phone service plans:

 

     Free Airtime
Minutes
     Free Data
Transmission (1)
     Monthly Fee  

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 150 (2)

     150         0 megabytes       (Won) 28,500   

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 250 (2)

     250         0         35,000   

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 350 (2)

     350         0         45,000   

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 450 (2)

     450         0         55,000   

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 650 (2)

     650         0         67,000   

SHOW Smart Sponsor Free 850 (2)

     850         0         75,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Slim (3)

     150         100         35,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Lite (3)

     200         500         45,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Talk (3)

     250         100         45,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Value (3)

     300         Unlimited         55,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Medium (3)

     400         Unlimited         65,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Special (3)

     600         Unlimited         79,000   

SHOW KING Sponsor i—Premium (3)

     800         Unlimited         95,000   

 

 

(1) We do not charge for any data transmission in wireless LAN zones. We charge W0.025 per 0.5 kilobyte for any additional data transmission exceeding the free monthly quota.

 

(2) Available only to smart phone users who do not use Apple iPhones. We provide discounts of up to 36.7% for mandatory subscription periods ranging from one to three years.

 

(3) We provide discounts of up to 38.2% for mandatory subscription periods ranging from one to three years.

We have entered into arrangements with various partners including a leading discount store, a leading online shopping mall, a cosmetics company, oil refinery companies, an operator of cinema complexes, a leading motor company and Korea Railroad Corporation, and we offer subscribers of our mobile service monthly discount coupons, membership points or movie tickets from such partners as promotional gifts.

In December 2010, we also introduced data-only plans targeting tablet PC users, smart-phone users and other special phone users, offering subscription plans for data transmission amounts ranging from 100MB to 4GB at monthly fees ranging from (Won)5,000 to (Won)35,000.

Fixed-line Telephone Services

Local Telephone Service. Our revenues from local telephone service consist primarily of:

 

   

Service initiation fees for new lines;

 

   

Monthly basic charges; and

 

   

Monthly usage charges based on the number of call pulses.

All calls are currently measured by call pulses. Each pulse is determined by the duration of the call and the time of the day at which the call is made. For instance, during regular service hours, a call pulse is triggered at the beginning of each local telephone call and every three minutes thereafter.

 

28


Table of Contents

The rates we charge for local calls are currently subject to approval by the Korea Communications Commission after consultation with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The rates are identical for residential and commercial customers. The following table summarizes our local usage rates as of each date on which rates were revised:

 

     Dec 1, 1996      Sept 1, 1997      April 15, 2001      May 1, 2002  

Local Usage Charges (per pulse) (1)

           

Regular service

   (Won) 41.6       (Won) 45       (Won) 39       (Won) 39   

Public telephone

     40         50         50         70   

 

 

(1) Since January 1, 1990, usage charges for local service in those metropolitan areas subject to measured service have been based on the number of pulses, which are a function of the duration and number of calls, and per pulse rates. Before January 1, 1993, in areas not subject to measured service, a pulse was triggered once for each local telephone call, regardless of the length of the call. Commencing January 1, 1993, measured service applies to all lines in service. A pulse is triggered at the beginning of each local call and every three minutes thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and every 258 seconds thereafter on holidays and from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. on weekdays.

We also charge a monthly basic charge ranging from (Won)3,000 to (Won)5,200, depending on location, and a non-refundable service initiation fee of (Won)60,000 to new subscribers. The non-refundable service initiation fee is waived for the new subscribers who subscribe to our local service through our online application process. Until April 2001, we charged refundable service initiation deposits, which were refunded upon termination of service. As of December 31, 2010, we had (Won)616 billion of refundable service initiation deposits outstanding and 2,738 thousand subscribers who are enrolled under the mandatory deposit plan and are eligible to switch to the no deposit plan and receive their service initiation deposit back (less the non-refundable service initial fees).

Domestic Long-distance Telephone Service. Our revenues from domestic long-distance service consist of charges for calls placed, charged for the duration, time of day and day of the week a call is placed, and the distance covered by the call. We are able to set our own rates for domestic long-distance service without approval from the Korea Communications Commission.

The following table summarizes our domestic long-distance rates as of each date on which rates were revised. These charges do not reflect discounts applicable to calls made during off-peak hours or holidays.

 

     Date of Rate Change (1)  
     Dec. 1, 1996      Sept. 1, 1997      Dec. 1, 2000      April 15, 2001      Nov. 1, 2001  

Domestic Long-Distance Charges (per three minutes) (1) (2)

              

Up to 30 km

   (Won) 41.6       (Won) 45       (Won) 45       (Won) 39       (Won) 39   

Up to 100 km

     182         172         192         192         261   

100 km or longer

     277         245         252         252         261   

 

 

(1) Domestic long-distance calls of up to 30 kilometers are billed on the same basis as local calls. Before April 15, 2001, for domestic long-distance calls in excess of 30 kilometers, a pulse was triggered at the beginning of each call and every 47 seconds for calls up to 100 kilometers or every 33 seconds for calls in excess of 100 kilometers. Commencing April 15, 2001, a pulse was triggered at the beginning of each call and every 30 seconds thereafter. Commencing November 1, 2001, a pulse is triggered at the beginning of each call and every 10 seconds thereafter.

 

(2) Rates for domestic long-distance calls in excess of 30 kilometers are currently discounted (by an adjustment in the period between pulses) by 10% on holidays and from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on weekdays, and by 30% from midnight to 6:00 a.m. every day.

 

29


Table of Contents

In recent years, we have begun to offer optional flat rate plans, discount plans and bundled product plans in order to mitigate the impact from lower usage of local and domestic long-distance calls and stabilize our revenues from fixed-line telephone services. For a discussion of our bundled products, see “—Bundled Products.” Some of our flat rate and discount plans that we currently offer include the following:

 

   

starting in June 2008, a subscriber who elects to pay a monthly flat rate of (Won)12,500 is able to make free local and domestic long-distance calls after 9 p.m. on weekdays or at any time on weekends. Each month, the subscriber also receives a free movie ticket and free 60 minutes of land-to-mobile calls. The subscriber is also eligible to receive a discount of up to 20%, subject to the length of the mandatory subscription period;

 

   

starting in October 2009, a subscriber who elects to subscribe to our fixed-line phone service for a three year mandatory subscription period is able to make local and domestic long-distance calls at a flat rate of (Won)39 per three minutes; and

 

   

starting in October 2009, a subscriber who elects to subscribe to our broadband Internet access service or HSDPA-based mobile service for a three year mandatory subscription period is able to make local, domestic long-distance and land-to-mobile calls of up to (Won)150,000 with a flat rate payment of (Won)50,000 or such calls up to (Won)50,000 with a flat rate payment of (Won)10,000. Standard rates apply to calls that exceed the capped amounts.

International Long-distance Service. Our revenues from international long-distance service consist of:

 

   

amounts we bill to customers for outgoing calls made to foreign countries (including customers who make calls to Korea from foreign countries under our home country direct-dial service);

 

   

amounts we bill to foreign telecommunications carriers and administrations for connection to the Korean telephone network in respect of incoming calls (including calls placed in Korea by customers of the foreign carriers for home country direct-dial service); and

 

   

other revenues, including revenues from international calls placed from public telephones.

We bill outgoing calls made by customers in Korea (and calls made to Korea from foreign countries under our home country direct-dial service) in accordance with our international long-distance rate schedule for the country called. These rates vary depending on the time of day at which a call is placed. We bill outgoing international calls on the basis of one-second increments. We are able to set our own rates for international long-distance service without approval from the Korea Communications Commission.

For incoming calls (including calls placed in Korea by customers of the foreign carriers for home country direct-dial service), we receive settlement payments from the relevant foreign carrier or administration at the applicable settlement rate specified under the agreement with the foreign entity. We have entered into numerous bilateral agreements with foreign carriers and administrations. We negotiate the settlement rates under these agreements with each foreign carrier, subject to Korea Communications Commission approval. It is the practice among international carriers for the carrier in the country in which the call is billed to collect payments due in respect of the use of overseas networks. Although we record the gross amounts due to and from us in our financial statements, we make settlements with most carriers quarterly on a net basis.

 

30


Table of Contents

Interconnection. We provide other telecommunications service providers, including mobile operators and other fixed-line operators, interconnection to our fixed-line network.

Land-to-mobile Interconnection. For a call initiated by a landline user to a mobile service subscriber, we collect from the landline user the land-to-mobile usage charge and remit to the mobile service provider a land-to-mobile interconnection charge. The Korea Communications Commission periodically issues orders setting the interconnection charge calculation method applicable to interconnections with mobile service providers. The Korea Communications Commission determines the land to mobile interconnection charge by calculating the long run incremental cost of mobile service providers, taking into consideration technology development and future expected costs.

The following table shows the interconnection charges we paid per minute (exclusive of value-added taxes) to mobile operators for landline to mobile calls.

 

     Effective Starting  
     January 1, 2008      January 1, 2009      January 1, 2010  

SK Telecom

   (Won) 33.4       (Won) 32.9       (Won) 31.4   

LG U+

     39.1         38.5         33.6   

The following table shows the usage charge per minute collected from a landline user for a call initiated by a landline user to a mobile service subscriber.

 

     Effective Starting September 1, 2004  

Weekday

   (Won) 87.0   

Weekend

     82.0   

Evening (1)

     77.2   

 

 

(1) Evening rates are applicable from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. everyday.

We recognize as land-to-mobile interconnection revenue the entire amount of the usage charge collected from the landline user and recognize as expense the amount of interconnection charge paid to the mobile service provider.

Land-to-land and Mobile-to-land Interconnection. For a call initiated by a landline subscriber of our competitor to our fixed-line user, the landline service provider collects from its subscriber its normal rate and remits to us a land-to-land interconnection charge. In addition, for a call initiated by a mobile service subscriber to our landline user, the mobile service provider collects from its subscriber its normal rate and remits to us a mobile-to-land interconnection charge.

The following table shows such interconnection charge per minute collected for a call depending on the type of call, as determined by the Korea Communications Commission.

 

     Effective Starting  
     January 1, 2008      January 1, 2009      January 1, 2010  

Local access (1)

   (Won) 18.3       (Won) 18.1       (Won) 17.1   

Single toll access (2)

     19.5         19.3         19.1   

Double toll access (3)

     20.6         20.4         22.5   

 

Source: The Korea Communications Commission.

 

(1) Interconnection between local switching center and local access line.

 

(2) Interconnection involving access to single long-distance switching center.

 

(3) Interconnection involving access to two long-distance switching centers.

 

31


Table of Contents

Internet Services

Broadband Internet Access Service. We offer broadband Internet access service that primarily uses existing telephone lines to provide both voice and data transmission. We charge monthly fixed fees to customers of broadband Internet service. In addition, we charge customers a one time installation fee per site of (Won)30,000 and modem rental fee of up to (Won)8,000 on a monthly basis. The rates we charge for broadband Internet access service are subject to approval by the Korea Communications Commission.

The following table summarizes our charges for our representative broadband Internet service plans:

 

     Maximum Speed      Monthly Fee  

olleh Internet Special (1)

     100 Mbps       (Won) 28,800   

olleh Internet Lite (1)

     50                    25,500   

WiBro 1G (2) (6)

     3                    10,000   

WiBro 30G (3) (6)

     3                    19,800   

WiBro 50G (4) (6)

     3                    27,000   

WiBro Unlimited (5) (6)

     3                    40,000   

 

 

(1) We waive the installation fee of (Won)30,000 for mandatory subscription periods of one to four years.

 

(2) We charge a monthly fee of (Won)10,000 for up to 1,000 megabytes of data transmission and (Won)25 per megabyte for any additional data transmission in excess of 1,000 megabytes per month.

 

(3) We charge a monthly fee of (Won)19,800 for up to 30,000 megabytes of data transmission and (Won)10 per megabyte for any additional data transmission in excess of 30,000 megabytes per month.

 

(4) We charge a monthly fee of (Won)27,000 for up to 50,000 megabytes of data transmission and (Won)10 per megabyte for any additional data transmission in excess of 50,000 megabytes per month.

 

(5) We may limit the service for certain usages, such as CCTV or other large size file transfers, if the monthly data transmission exceeds 100,000 megabytes.

 

(6) Promotional rates available until June 30, 2011.

olleh TV Services. We charge our subscribers an installation fee per site of (Won)24,000, a set-top box rental fee ranging from (Won)2,000 to (Won)7,000 on a monthly basis and a monthly subscription fee. The rates we charge for olleh TV services are subject to approval by the Korea Communications Commission.

The following table summarizes charges for our representative olleh TV service plans:

 

     Real-time
Broadcasting Channels
     Monthly Fee (1)  

olleh TV Video-on-Demand

     0       (Won) 10,000   

olleh TV Choice (2)

     75-77         10,000-16,000   

olleh TV Education (3)

     48         10,000-14,000   

olleh TV Thrift (4)

     99         12,000   

olleh TV Standard (4)

     125         16,000   

olleh TV Deluxe (4)

     130         23,000   

olleh TV SkyLife Economy (5)

     99         20,000   

olleh TV SkyLife Standard (5)

     133         25,000   

olleh TV SkyLife Premium (5)

     171         30,000   

 

 

(1) We provide discounts of 5% to 20% for mandatory subscription periods ranging from one to three years. For olleh TV SkyLife subscribers, we provide discounts of 20% for mandatory subscription period of three years.

 

(2) Assuming selection of one package. Subscribers must choose at least one channel package, each of which charges a monthly fee of (Won)2,000. The packages include entertainment, media, leisure, education and multi-room.

 

32


Table of Contents
(3) Assuming selection of one package. Subscribers must choose at least one channel package, each of which charges a monthly fee of (Won)2,000. The packages include elementary school, middle/high school and English education.

 

(4) We charge additional monthly fees for value-added services such as short messaging service, video conferencing and high-definition channels from KT Skylife Co., our subsidiary satellite broadcasting operator.

 

(5) For subscription to olleh TV SkyLife service, installation fee is waived for a mandatory subscription period of three years.

Data Communication Service

We charge customers of domestic leased-lines on a monthly fixed-cost basis based on the distance of the leased line, the capacity of the line measured in bits per second (“bps”), the type of line provided and whether the service site is local or long-distance. In addition, we charge customers a one-time installation fee per line ranging from (Won)56,000 to (Won)1,940,000 depending on the capacity of the line.

Bundled Products

We utilize our extensive customer relationships and market knowledge to expand our revenue base by cross-selling our telecommunications products and services. In order to attract additional subscribers to our new services, we bundle our services, such as our broadband Internet access service with WiBro, IP-TV, Internet phone, fixed-line telephone service and mobile services, at a discount.

The following table summarizes our various basic bundled packages that we currently offer. The packages require subscribers to agree to a subscription period of three years.

 

     Monthly Rates    Mobile usage
Charge Discounts
 
     Flat Rate (1)
     Mobile Monthly Fee    Between
Family
Members  (2)
    Calls to
Designated
Numbers (3)
 

Internet / Fixed-Line Phone / Mobile

   (Won) 27,000       Discounts of between
10% to 50%, subject
to the number of
subscribers who
participate (up to 5
mobile numbers)
     50%        20%   

Internet / IP-TV / Mobile (4)

     31,000            50     20

Internet / Fixed-Line Phone / IP-TV / Mobile (4)

     32,000            50%        50%   

 

 

(1) Assuming selection of olleh Internet Lite service. If olleh Internet Special is selected, additional monthly charge of (Won)3,000.

 

(2) Applies to both voice call and video call airtime minutes.

 

(3) Applies to voice call airtime minutes only. Limited to one designated mobile number and one designated fixed-line number.

 

(4) Assuming selection of olleh TV SkyLife Economy Plan. If olleh TV Video-on-Demand is selected, deduction of (Won)2,000 from the monthly flat rate. If olleh TV SkyLife Standard Plan is selected, additional monthly charge of (Won)3,000.

We have also entered into partnerships with a leading online shopping mall, an operator of cinema complexes, a satellite broadcasting service operator, a life insurance company, a car insurance company and a security company, and our subscribers may elect to receive monthly gift certificates, music downloads, online game money, movie tickets or other benefits from such partnership companies with value of up to (Won)50,000 per month in lieu of monthly rate discounts.

We believe that subscribers who sign up for bundled products are less likely to cancel our services than subscribers who subscribe to individual services. Subscription fees paid for our bundled products are allocated to each service in proportion to their fair value and the allocated amount is recognized as revenue according to the revenue recognition policy for each service.

 

33


Table of Contents

Competition

Competition in the telecommunications sector in Korea is intense. In recent years, business combinations in the telecommunications industry have significantly changed the competitive landscape of the Korean telecommunications industry. In particular, SK Telecom acquired a controlling stake in Hanarotelecom Incorporated in 2008, which was renamed SK Broadband. The acquisition enables SK Telecom to provide fixed-line telecommunications, broadband Internet access and IP-TV services together with its mobile telecommunications services. On January 1, 2010, LG Dacom and LG Powercom merged into LG Telecom Co., Ltd., which subsequently changed its name to LG U+. The merger enables LG U+ provide a similar range of services as SK Telecom and us.

Under the Telecommunications Basic Law and the Telecommunications Business Law, telecommunications service providers in Korea are currently classified into network service providers, value-added service providers and specific service providers. See “—Regulation.”

Network Service Providers

All network service providers in Korea are permitted to set the rates for international or domestic long-distance services on their own without Korea Communications Commission approval. Many of our competitors have set their rates lower than ours. Currently, we can compete freely with other providers on the basis of rates in all services except for rates we charge for local calls and broadband Internet access service, which require advance approval from the Korea Communications Commission. In all service areas, we compete by endeavoring to provide superior customer service and superior technical quality, taking advantage of our broad customer base and our ability to provide various telecommunication services.

We and SK Telecom have been designated as market-dominating business entities in the respective markets under the Telecommunications Business Act. Under this Act, a market-dominating business entity may not engage in any act of abuse, such as unreasonably interfering with business activities of other business entities, hindering unfairly the entry of newcomers or substantially restricting competition to the detriment of the interests of consumers. The Korea Communications Commission has also issued guidelines on fair competition of the telecommunications companies. If any telecommunications service provider breaches the guidelines, the Korea Communications Commission may take necessary corrective measures against it after a hearing at which the service provider may defend its action.

Mobile Service. Competition in the mobile telecommunications industry in Korea is intense among SK Telecom, LG U+ and us. Such competition has intensified in recent years due to the implementation of mobile number portability, which enabled mobile subscribers to switch their service provider while retaining the same mobile phone number, as well as payments of handset subsidies to purchasers of new handsets who agree to minimum subscription periods.

The following table shows the market share in the mobile telecommunications market as of the dates indicated:

 

     Market Share (%)  
     KT
Corporation
     SK Telecom      LG U+  

December 31, 2008

     31.5         50.5         18.0   

December 31, 2009

     31.3         50.6         18.1   

December 31, 2010

     31.6         50.6         17.8   

 

 

Source: Korea Communications Commission.

 

34


Table of Contents

We offer various rate plans, including those that offer a specified number of free airtime minutes per month in return for a higher monthly fee and those that are geared toward business customers. Our competitors also offer similar plans at competitive rates.

Local Telephone Service. We compete with SK Broadband and LG U+ in the local telephone service business. SK Broadband began providing local telephone service in 1999, followed by LG U+ in 2004. In addition, the services provided by mobile service providers have had a material adverse effect on KT Corporation in terms of our revenues from fixed-line telephone services. We expect this trend to continue.

The following table shows the market share in the local telephone service market as of the dates indicated:

 

     Market Share (%)  
     KT
Corporation
     SK Broadband      LG U+  

December 31, 2008

     89.8         8.7         1.5   

December 31, 2009

     89.9         8.4         1.7   

December 31, 2010

     86.3         11.7         2.0   

 

 

Source: Korea Communications Commission.

Although the local usage charge of our competitors and us is the same at (Won)39 per pulse (generally three minutes) and the basic monthly charge of our competitors and us is the same at (Won)5,200 depending on location, our competitors’ non-refundable telephone service initiation charges are lower than ours. Our customers pay a non-refundable telephone service initiation charge of (Won)60,000 while customers of our competitors pay a non-refundable telephone service initiation charge of (Won)30,000

Domestic Long-distance Telephone Service. We compete with SK Broadband, LG U+, Onse and SK Telink in the domestic long-distance market. LG U+ began offering domestic long-distance service in 1996, followed by Onse in 1999 and SK Broadband and SK Telink in 2004. The following table shows the market shares in the domestic long-distance market as of the dates indicated:

 

     Market Share (%)  
     KT
Corporation
     SK Broadband      LG U+      Onse      SK Telink  

December 31, 2008

     85.2         3.7         7.8         1.7         1.6   

December 31, 2009

     86.3         6.8         3.4         1.6         1.9   

December 31, 2010

     82.2         11.1         3.1         1.2         2.4   

 

Source: Korea Telecommunications Operators Association.

Our competitors and we charge (Won)39 per three minutes for domestic long-distance calls up to 30 kilometers. For domestic long-distance calls greater than 30 kilometers, our competitors typically charge between 3% to 5% less than us. The following table is a comparison of our standard long-distance usage charges per 10 seconds with the standard rates of our competitors as of December 31, 2010:

 

     KT
Corporation
     SK Broadband      LG U+      Onse      SK Telink  

30 kilometers or longer

   (Won) 14.5       (Won) 13.9       (Won) 14.1       (Won) 13.8       (Won) 13.8   

 

 

Source: Korea Communications Commission.

 

35


Table of Contents

International Long-Distance Telephone Service. Four companies, SK Broadband, LG U+, Onse and SK Telink, directly compete with us in the international long-distance market. LG U+ began offering international long-distance service in 1991, followed by Onse in 1997 and SK Broadband in 2004. SK Telink, which only provides Internet phone service, entered the international long-distance market in 2003 and offers its services at rates lower than those of network-based international long-distance telephone services. The entry of Internet phone service providers and other telecommunications service providers, such as voice resellers, that can offer telecommunications services at rates lower than ours has increased competition in the international long-distance market and adversely affected our revenues and profitability from international long-distance services. See “—Specific Service Providers.”

Our competitors generally charge less than us for international long-distance calls. The following table is a comparison of our standard long-distance usage charges per one minute with the standard rates of our competitors as of December 31, 2010:

 

     KT
Corporation
     SK
Broadband
     LG U+      Onse      SK Telink  

United States

   (Won) 282       (Won) 276       (Won) 288       (Won) 276       (Won) 156   

Japan

     696         672         678         672         384   

China

     990         984         996         984         780   

Australia

     1,086         1,044         1,086         1,044         528   

Great Britain

     1,008         966         996         966         498   

Germany

     948         912         942         912         402   

 

 

Source: KT Corporation.

Broadband Internet Access Service. The Korean broadband Internet access market has experienced significant growth in the past decade. SK Broadband entered the broadband market in 1999 offering both HFC and ADSL services, and we entered the market with our ADSL services in 1999, followed by Dreamline, Onse and LG U+. In addition, the entry of cable television providers that offer HFC-based broadband Internet access services at rates lower than ours has increased competition in the broadband Internet access market. We expect industry consolidation among our competitors in the near future, and smaller competitors in the broadband market today may become larger competitors.

The following table shows the market share in the broadband Internet access market as of the dates indicated:

 

     Market Share (%)  
     KT
Corporation
     SK
Broadband
     LG U+      Others  

December 31, 2008

     43.4         22.9         14.1         19.6   

December 31, 2009

     42.5         23.5         15.4         18.6   

December 31, 2010

     43.1         23.1         16.1         17.7   

 

 

Source: Korea Communications Commission.

Our competitors generally charge less than us for broadband Internet access service. The following table is a comparison of fees for our olleh Internet Lite service with three year mandatory subscription period with fees of our competitors for comparable services as of December 31, 2010:

 

     KT
Corporation
     SK
Broadband
     LG U+      Cable Providers  (1)  

Monthly subscription fee

   (Won) 25,500       (Won) 25,200       (Won) 25,000       (Won) 20,000   

Monthly modem rental fee

     3,000         3,000         None         1,000   

Additional installation fee upon moving

     10,000         10,000         20,000         20,000   

 

 

Source: KT Corporation.

 

(1) These are typical fees charged by cable providers.

 

36


Table of Contents

Data Communication Service. We had a monopoly in domestic data communication service until 1994, when LG U+ was authorized to provide the leased-line service. The data communications service market has become more competitive with limited growth during the past decade, and we primarily compete with SK Broadband and LG U+.

Value-Added Service Providers

Value-added service providers may commence operations following filing of a report to the Korea Communications Commission. The scope of business of a value-added service provider includes specific value-added telecommunications activities (other than services reserved for network service providers), such as data communications utilizing telecommunications facilities leased from network service providers.

Specific Service Providers

Specific service providers, such as Internet phone service providers and voice resellers, started operations in Korea in 1998. We began providing Internet phone service for international long-distance calls in May 1998. Our Internet phone service also competes with international long-distance services provided by voice resellers who have also seen sharp increases in demand for their services.

Regulation

Under the Telecommunications Basic Law and the Telecommunications Business Law, telecommunications service providers are currently classified into three categories:

 

   

network service providers, such as us, which typically provide telecommunications services with their own telecommunications networks and related facilities. Their services may include local, domestic long-distance and international long-distance telephone services, mobile communications service, paging service and trunked radio system service;

 

   

value-added service providers, which provide telecommunications services other than those services specified for network service providers, such as data communications using telecommunications facilities leased from network service providers; and

 

   

specific service providers are broadly defined by law as telecommunications service providers that provide network services using the telecommunications network facilities or services of network service providers.

Under the Telecommunications Basic Law and the Telecommunications Business Law, the Korea Communications Commission has comprehensive regulatory authority over the telecommunications industry and all network service providers. The Korea Communications Commission is established under the direct jurisdiction of the President and is comprised of five standing commissioners. Commissioners of the Korea Communications Commission are appointed by the President, and the appointment of the Chairperson must be approved at a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly. The Korea Communications Commission’s policy is to promote competition in the Korean telecommunications markets through measures designed to prevent the dominant service provider in any such market from exercising its market power in such a way as to prevent the emergence and development of viable competitors. A network service provider must be licensed by the Korea Communications Commission. Our license as a network service provider permits us to engage in a wide range of telecommunications services.

 

37


Table of Contents

Under the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act, telecommunications service providers are also required to disclose personal credit information of their customers only for the purpose of validating and maintaining telecommunications service agreements. Korean telecommunications service providers may use their customers’ credit information only to the extent allowed by the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act, which has gained greater importance in recent years due to the occurrence of personal information leakage incidents.

The Korea Communications Commission also has the authority to regulate the IP media market, including IP-TV services. We began offering IP-TV services with real-time high definition broadcasting on November 17, 2008. Under the Internet Multimedia Broadcasting Business Act, anyone intending to engage in the IP media broadcasting business must obtain a license from the Korea Communications Commission. The ownership of the shares of an IP media broadcasting company by a newspaper, a news agency or a foreigner is limited, and broadcasting of certain contents must obtain additional approval of the Korea Communications Commission.

Rates

Under current regulations implementing the Telecommunications Business Act, a network service provider may set its rates at its discretion, although it must report to the Korea Communications Commission the rates and the general terms and conditions for each type of network service provided by it. There is, however, one exception to this general rule: if a network service provider has the largest market share for a specified type of service and its revenue from that service for the previous year exceeds a specific revenue amount set by the Korea Communications Commission, it must obtain prior approval from the Korea Communications Commission for the rates and the general terms for that service. Each year the Korea Communications Commission designates the service providers and the types of services for which the rates and the general terms must be approved by the Korea Communications Commission. In 2010, the Korea Communications Commission designated us for local telephone service and SK Telecom for cellular service. The Korea Communications Commission, in consultation with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, is required to approve the rates proposed by a network service provider if (1) the proposed rates are appropriate, fair and reasonable and (2) the calculation method for the rates are appropriate and transparent.

Other Activities

A network service provider, such as us, must obtain the permission of the Korea Communications Commission in order to:

 

   

engage in certain businesses specified in the Presidential Decree under the Telecommunications Business Act, such as the telecommunications equipment manufacturing business and the telecommunications network construction business;

 

   

change the conditions for its licenses;

 

   

transfer, terminate, suspend or spin off all or a part of the business for which it is licensed;

 

   

acquire all or a part of the business of another network service provider; or

 

   

enter into a merger with another network service provider.

A telephone service provider may provide some network services using the equipment it currently has by submitting a report to the Korea Communications Commission. The Korea Communications Commission can revoke our licenses or order the suspension of any of our businesses if we do not comply with the regulations of the Korea Communications Commission under the Telecommunications Business Law.

 

38


Table of Contents

The responsibilities of the Korea Communications Commission also include:

 

   

formulating the basic plan for the telecommunications industry; and

 

   

preparing periodic reports to the National Assembly of Korea regarding developments in the telecommunications industry.

In May 2010, the Korea Communications Commission issued a guideline that limits the marketing expenditure amounts of telecommunication service providers in Korea to 22% of their revenues, with the restrictions applicable to fixed-line and mobile segments to be calculated separately. However, up to (Won)100 billion of the marketing expenditures may be applied to either segment at the discretion of the service provider. The calculation of marketing expenditure amounts under the guideline excludes advertising expenses and the calculation of revenue amounts excludes revenues from handset sales. To encourage compliance with the non-binding guideline, the Korea Communications Commission plans to release the marketing expenditure amounts of each service provider on a quarterly basis. The Korea Communications Commission may periodically adjust the guideline to accommodate changes in market conditions.

The responsibilities of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy include:

 

   

drafting and implementing plans for developing telecommunications technology;

 

   

fostering and providing guidance to institutions and entities that conduct research relating to telecommunications; and

 

   

recommending to network service providers that they invest in research and development or that they contribute to telecommunications research institutes in Korea.

In addition, since January 2000, all network service providers (other than regional paging service providers) are obligated to contribute toward the supply of “universal” telecommunications services in Korea. Telecommunications service providers designated as “universal service providers” by the Korea Communications Commission are required to provide universal telecommunications services such as local services, local public telephone services, discount services for persons with disabilities and for certain low-income persons, telecommunications services for remote islands and wireless communication services for ships. We have been designated as a universal service provider. The costs and losses recognized by universal service providers in connection with providing these universal telecommunications services will be shared on an annual basis by all network service providers (other than regional paging service providers), including us, on a pro rata basis based on their respective net annual revenue calculated pursuant to a formula set by the Korea Communications Commission.

Due to the amendment of the Telecommunications Business Law, effective April 9, 2001, a network service provider must permit other network service providers to co-use wirelines connecting the switching equipment to end-users, upon the request of such other network service providers. In addition, a network service provider may permit other network service providers to co-use its wireless communication systems upon the request of any of such other network service providers. The compensation method for the co-use must be determined by the Korea Communications Commission and be settled, by fair and proper methods.

In addition, starting April 2002, we are required to lease to other companies our fixed-lines that connect subscribers to our network. This system, which is called local loop unbundling, is intended to prevent excessive investment in local loops. This system requires us to lease the portion of our copper

 

39


Table of Contents

lines that represent our excess capacity to other companies upon their request at rates that are determined by the Korea Communications Commission based on our cost, and taking into consideration an appropriate rate of return, to enable them to provide voice and broadband services. Revenues from local loop unbundling are recognized as revenues from miscellaneous services.

Foreign Investment

The Telecommunications Business Act restricts the ownership and control of network service providers by foreign shareholders. Foreigners, foreign governments and “foreign invested companies” may not own more than 49.0% of the issued shares with voting rights of a network service provider, including us, and a foreign shareholder may not become our largest shareholder if such shareholder holds 5.0% or more of our shares. For purposes of the Telecommunications Business Act, the term “foreign invested company” means a company in which foreigners and foreign governments hold 15.0% or more shares with voting rights in the aggregate and a foreigner or a foreign government is the largest shareholder, provided, however, that such company will not be counted as a foreign shareholder for the purposes of the above-referenced 49.0% limit if it holds less than 1.0% of our total issued and outstanding shares with voting rights. As of December 31, 2010, 48.52% of our common shares were owned by foreign investors. In the event that a network service provider violates the shareholding restrictions, its foreign shareholders cannot exercise voting rights for their shares in excess of such limitation, and the Korea Communications Commission may require corrective measures be taken to comply with the ownership restrictions. There is no restriction on foreign ownership for specific service providers and value-added service providers.

Individual Shareholding Limit

Under the Telecommunications Business Act, a foreign shareholder who holds 5.0% or more of our total shares is prohibited from becoming our largest shareholder. However, any foreign shareholder who held 5.0% or more of our total shares and was our largest shareholder on or prior to May 9, 2004 is exempt from the regulations, provided that such foreign shareholder may not acquire any more of our shares. In addition, under the Telecommunications Business Act, the Korea Communications Commission may, if it deems it necessary to preserve substantial public interests, prohibit a foreign shareholder from being our largest shareholder. In addition, the Foreign Investment Promotion Act prohibits any foreign shareholder from being our largest shareholder, if such shareholder owns 5.0% or more of our shares with voting rights. In the event that any foreigner or foreign government acquires our shares in violation of the above provisions, the Telecommunications Business Act restricts such foreign shareholder from exercising his or her voting rights with respect to common shares exceeding such threshold. The Korea Communications Commission may also order us or the foreign shareholder to take corrective measures in respect of the excess shares within a specified period of six months or less.

Customers and Customer Billing

We typically charge residential subscribers and business subscribers similar rates for services provided. On a case-by-case basis, we also provide discount rates for some of our high-volume business subscribers. We bill all of our customers on a monthly basis. Our customers may make payment at either payment points such as local post offices, banks or our service offices, through a direct-debit service that automatically deducts the monthly payment from a subscriber’s designated bank account, or through a direct-charge service that automatically charges the monthly payment to a subscriber’s designated credit card account. Approximately 70% of our subscribers as of December 31, 2010 pay through the direct-debit service. Accounts of subscribers who fail to pay our invoice are transferred to a collection agency, which sends out a notice of payment. If such charges are not paid after notice, we cease to provide outgoing service to such subscribers after a period of

 

40


Table of Contents

time determined by the type of subscribed service. If charges are still not paid two to three months after outgoing service is cut off, we cease all services to such subscribers. After service is ceased, the overdue charges that are not collected by the collection agency are written off.

Insurance

We carry insurance against loss or damage to all significant buildings and automobiles. Except for our insurance coverage of our satellites and Internet data centers, we do not carry insurance covering losses to outside plants or to equipment because we believe the cost of such insurance is excessive and the risk of material loss or damage is insignificant. We do not have any provisions or reserves against such loss or damage. We do not carry any business interruption insurance.

We provide co-location and a variety of value-added services including server-hosting services to a number of corporations whose business largely depends on critical data operated on our servers or on their servers located at our data centers. Any disruptions, interruptions, physical or electronic data loss, delays or slow down in communication connections could expose us to potential liabilities for losses relating to the disrupted businesses of our customers relying on our services.

Item 4.C.  Organizational Structure

These matters are discussed under Item 4.B. where relevant.

Item 4.D.  Property, Plants and Equipment

Our principal fixed asset is our integrated telecommunications networks. In addition, we own buildings and real estate throughout Korea.

Our fixed-line equipment vendors and mobile equipment suppliers include well-known international and local suppliers such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Cisco Systems and Apple Inc.

Mobile Networks

Our mobile network architecture includes the following components:

 

   

cell sites, which are physical locations equipped with base transceiver stations consisting of transmitters, receivers and other equipment used to communicate through radio channels with subscribers’ mobile telephone handsets within the range of a cell;

 

   

base station controllers, which connect to and control, the base transceiver stations;

 

   

mobile switching centers, which in turn control the base station controllers and the routing of telephone calls; and

 

   

transmission lines, which connect the mobile switching centers, base station controllers, base transceiver stations and the public switched telephone network.

The following table lists selected information regarding our mobile networks as of December 31, 2010:

 

     CDMA      W-CDMA  

Mobile switching centers

     35         24   

Base station controllers

     300         419   

Base transceiver stations

     7,614         7,391   

Indoor and outdoor repeaters

     53,826         257,946   

 

41


Table of Contents

We have 40 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum to provide PCS services based on CDMA wireless network standards and another 40 MHz of bandwidth in the 2.0 GHz spectrum to provide IMT-2000 services based on W-CDMA wireless network standards. Our current right to use 40 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum is scheduled to expire at the end of June 2011. We have applied to the Korea Communications Commission to allocate back to us 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum, for which we expect to pay a usage fee if reallocated to us. In addition, the Korea Communications Commission allocated 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum to us, which will become effective on July 1, 2011. We expect to pay a portion of the actual sales generated from using the bandwidth in the 900 MHz spectrum during the license period of 10 years as a usage fee for the bandwidth, as well as a portion of expected sales as determined by the Korea Communications Commission at the time of allocation. In June 2011, the Korea Communications Commission announced its plan to auction in August 2011 the right to use 20 MHz of bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz spectrum that we are scheduled to relinquish at the end of June 2011, 10 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 800 MHz spectrum and 20 MHz of additional bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. According to the plan, a maximum of 20 MHz of bandwidth may be sold to a single service provider, and SK Telecom and we are prohibited from bidding for the 20 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz spectrum. If we are allocated the bandwidths in the 800 MHz or the 1.8 GHz spectrums, we expect to pay usage fees for such bandwidths. We have also installed an intelligent network on our mobile network infrastructure to provide a wide range of advanced call features and value-added services.

Exchanges

Exchanges include local exchanges and “toll” exchanges that connect local exchanges to long-distance transmission facilities. We had 24.0 million lines connected to local exchanges and 16.0 million lines connected to toll exchanges as of December 31, 2010.

All of our exchanges are fully automatic. We completed replacement of all electromechanical analog exchanges with digital exchanges in June 2003 in order to provide higher speed and larger volume services. Starting in 2006, we also began conversion of our exchanges to be compatible to Internet protocol platform in preparation for building our next generation broadband convergence network by 2021. As of December 31, 2010, approximately 85% of our lines connected to toll exchanges are compatible to Internet protocol platform.

Internet Backbone

Our Internet backbone network, called KORNET, has the capacity to handle an aggregate traffic of our broadband Internet access subscribers, Internet data centers and Internet exchange system at any given moment of up to 4.6 Tbps as of December 31, 2010. We have set up contingent plans to prepare against various incidents that could affect reliable Internet access service. Starting in 2005, we have also begun deploying our Internet protocol premium network that enables us to more reliably support olleh TV, WiBro, Internet Phone, upgraded VoIP services and other Internet protocol services. As of December 31, 2010, our Internet protocol premium network had 2,224,986 lines installed to provide voice over Internet protocol services and a total capacity to handle up to 595 Gbps of IP-TV, voice and WiBro service traffic.

Access Lines

As of December 31, 2010, we had 14.5 million access lines installed, which allow us to reach virtually all homes and businesses in Korea. As part of our broadband deployment strategy, we have upgraded many of our access lines by equipping them with broadband capability using xDSL and FTTH technology. As of December 31, 2010, we had approximately 12.7 million broadband lines with speeds of at least 50 Mbps that enable us to deliver broadband Internet access and multimedia content to our customers.

 

42


Table of Contents

Transmission Network

Our domestic fiber optic cable network consisted of 484,701 kilometers of fiber optic cables as of December 31, 2010 of which 86,815 kilometers of fiber optic cables are used to connect our backbone network and 397,886 kilometers are used to connect the backbone network to our subscribers. Our backbone network utilizes dense wavelength division multiplexing technology for connecting major cities as well as optical add-drop multiplexer technology for connecting neighboring cities. Dense wavelength division multiplexing technology improves bandwidth efficiency by enabling transmission of data from multiple signals across one fiber strand in a cable by carrying each signal on a separate wavelength. We enhanced our backbone network connecting six major cities in Korea by implementing an optical cross-connector (OXC) architecture in 2008 and are in the process of building our next generation broadband convergence network through installation of network equipment utilizing optical reconfigurable add-drop multiplexer technology and multi-service provisioning platform.

Our extensive domestic long-distance network is supplemented by our fully digital domestic microwave network, which consists of 55 relay sites.

International Network

Our international network infrastructure consists of both submarine cables and satellite transmission systems, including two submarine cable-landing stations in Busan and Keoje and two satellite teleports in Kumsan and Boeun. Data services such as international private lease circuits, Internet protocol and very small aperture terminals are provided through submarine cables and satellite transmission. In order to guarantee high quality services to our end customers, our submarine cables and satellite transmission systems are linked to various points-of-presence in the United States, Asia and Europe. In addition, our international telecommunications networks are directly linked to approximately 315 telecommunications service providers in various international destinations and are routed through our three international switching centers in Seoul, Daejeon and Busan.

Our international Internet backbone with capacity of 250 Gbps is connected to approximately 180 Internet service providers through our two Internet gateways in Heawha and Guro. In addition, we operate a video backbone with capacity of one Gbps to transmit video signals from Korea to the rest of the world.

Satellites

In order to provide broadcasting, video distribution and broadband data services in select areas, we operate two satellites, Koreasat 3, 5 and 6, launched in 1999, 2006 and 2011, respectively. See “Item 4.B. Business Overview—Our Services—Satellite Services.”

International Submarine Cable Networks

International traffic is handled by telecommunications satellites and submarine cables. Because of the high cost of laying a submarine cable, the usual practice is for multiple carriers to jointly commission a new cable and share the costs and the capacity. We own interests in several international fiber optic submarine cable networks, including:

 

   

a 1.4% interest in the 29,000-kilometer FLAG Europe-Asia network connecting Korea, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe, activated since April 1997;

 

   

a 1.8% interest in the 39,000-kilometer Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 Cable Network linking 34 countries, activated since December 1999;

 

43


Table of Contents
   

a 6.7% interest in the 30,444-kilometer China-U.S. Cable Network linking Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, activated since January 2000;

 

   

a 5.1% interest in the 19,000-kilometer Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 connecting Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, activated since December 2001;