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The new partnership will reportedly focus on 5G research and development, as well as potential joint investment opportunities and media content exchanges

This week, Korea Telecom (KT) has announced it has signed a new strategic agreement with Turkish state-run operator Turk Telekom, seeking to mutually develop their 5G capabilities and explore the technology’s commercialisation.
 
As part of the deal, the partners will co-develop a private 5G platform for to Türk Telekom’s customers, coinciding with the operator’s broader 5G launch scheduled for 2023.
 
Beyond 5g, the deal will also see the operators explore joint investment opportunities, particularly in technology start-ups, with Türk Telekom looking to support a number of KT’s various tech subsidiaries. 
 
The agreement also covers content sharing, with content produced by KT offered to Türk Telekom’s customers via the latter’s Internet TV and over-the-top service platform. Reciprocal content exchange may also be explored at a later date. 
 
With the major international success of hit films and TV series like Parasite and Squid Game in recent years, the international community has an increasing appetite for South Korean content and the nation’s telcos have begun to take an active role in its creation. Defying the conventional telco wisdom that suggests it is easy to partner with content players than create it yourself, all three of South Korea’s largest connectivity players have begun upscaling their media efforts, from opening TV studios to partnering with K pop bands and building metaverse platforms.  
 
KT itself has already found considerable success in its newly created subsidiary, KT Studio Genie, which has produced the currently most-watched non-English TV series on streaming platforms, ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’. SK Telecom, meanwhile, has established its own streaming service, Content Wavve Corp., in 2019, and LG Uplus has recently invested in children’s animation studio SAMG Entertainment.
 
“We are embarking on an exciting journey with Korea Telecom, the world’s leading technology company, to implement joint R&D projects in the field of 5G, to invest in start-ups, an area we value very much, and to exchange content for our TV platform. I believe that this cooperation will yield very successful results,” said Türk Telekom CEO Ümit Önal.
 
The formal agreement follows the two companies signing a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding at Mobile World Congress back in March. 
 

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