Based out of South Korea, SK Telecom, the largest wireless telecommunications giant in the country, plans to spin-off its mobility business by getting the US-based ride-hailing leader Uber to introduce a multi-service mobility platform.
As per insider sources, the proposal is lined up to be put to vote in the board on Thursday ( October 15, 2020).
The idea behind
The new independent business is expected to make most of the market dominance earned by SK Telecom’s smartphone navigation app, T map. It is all prepped to be South Korea’s biggest mobility market leader, say sources.
Uber, which could not make it in the ride-sharing business in Korea even after multiple attempts, reportedly has promised a humongous sum of 100 billion won, approximately USD 87.2 million, in the new company.
In cooperation with Uber, SK Telecom plans to develop a full-service mobility platform that features parking solutions, refueling and insurance services, cab-hailing along with auto sales and rentals.
SK Telecom has been incessantly involved in promoting mobility as a new platform for growth. T map, Korea’s number one mobility platform by the telecom company, controls 70% of the local smartphone navigation. Driven by AI capabilities, 5G and media security gives the company a competitive edge in the market.
As per the company, the app records 4.5 million active users daily and flaunts a monthly user base of 12.5 million.
Last year, the South Korean wireless communications operator introduced a mobility business unit and appointed industry experts to make it a 250-strong team.
Additionally, SK Telecom works toward strengthening its B2B services leveraging the T map. An apt example is its integration with an in-vehicle infotainment system that not just hosts the navigation app but various other offerings by the company such as voice assistant NUGU and music platform FLO.
Brands such as Jaguar, Volvo, BMW, and Land Rover have already confirmed to mount the system in their new cars in Korea.
Important: The spin-off might face setbacks as the labor union of the telecom giant strongly opposes the move fearing layoffs.