KT Corporation

KT Corporation (Hangul: 주식회사 케이티), formerly Korea Telecom, is South Korea's largest telecommunications company.

KT Corporation
FormerlyKorea Telecommunications Authority (1981-2002)
KRX: 030200
FoundedSeptember 28, 1885; 135 years ago (1885-09-28) (as Korea Telegrams Hansung Administration)
Hansung, Joseon (now Seoul, South Korea)
December 10, 1981; 39 years ago (1981-12-10) (as Korean Telecommunications Authority, KTA)
Seongnam, South Korea
HeadquartersBundang District, Seongnam, South Korea
Key people
Hyun-Mo Koo (CEO)
ProductsFixed line
Mobile Telephony
Internet Services
Digital Television
Credit card
Real estate
RevenueKRW 24.342 billion (2019)[1]
OwnerGovernment of South Korea through the National Pension Service (12.19%)
Number of employees
23,372 (December 2019)
KT Submarine
KT Telecop
KT Capital
KT Rental
Genie Music
KT SkyLife
KT Wibro Infra

The formerly fully-state-owned firm (the government's National Pension Service currently owns 12.19% shares and is the largest shareholder) is South Korea's first telecommunications company and as such it dominates the local landline and broadband Internet market, serving about 90 percent of the country's fixed-line subscribers and 45 percent of high-speed Internet users. After selling its wireless affiliate Korea Mobile Telecom in 1994, KT returned to the wireless market with the creation of PCS carrier KTF in January 1997.

The company's 2009 merger with KTF, its wireless subsidiary, made it the country's ninth largest chaebol (conglomerate) with nearly 24 trillion (equivalent to ₩27.91 trillion or US$24.69 billion in 2017)[2] in assets.[3]

In January 2011, KT launched unified brand "Olleh" for both fixed-line and cellular broadband services.[4]

Company overviewEdit

Founded in 1981 as a public utility, KT actively led Korea's transition to the information era and played a key role in transforming Korea into a major information technology hub. As a state-owned firm, KT had the clout to influence changes to itself and Korean telecommunications industry as a whole; selling its wireless affiliate in 1994, founding another in 1996 and becoming, along with Dacom, one of Korea's earliest ISPs. In 2001 KT acquired struggling broadband provider Thrunet, then the largest broadband company in Korea, which paved the way for KT to dominate the broadband market.[5] In 2009, KT merged with its wireless subsidiary KTF, paving the way to the integration of landline and cellular services. Ever since KT introduced the Apple iPhone to South Korea, it has been constantly seeking new business area, such as media, e-commerce, and global business partnerships. The company has a well-distributed shareholder structure under which the National Pension Service (NPS) is the largest shareholder (6.81% as of December 31, 2012), but NPS holds no managerial rights over the company.[6] Under the current shareholder structure, no controlling shareholder exists.

History and milestonesEdit

Logo used from 1991 to 2001.

Before privatizationEdit

  • 1981: Company incorporated on December 10 as KTA[7]
  • 1984: Tenth in the world to develop the electronic switch TDX-1
  • 1987: Nationwide automated long-distance network completed[8]
  • 1991: Company renamed Korea Telecom
  • 1993: Total of approximately 20 million telephone lines installed (only 4.5 million existed in 1982), laying groundwork for the emerging information society
  • 1995: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 1 launched
  • 1996: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 2 launched
  • 1996: PCS and CT-2 license acquired. KT Freetel (wireless carrier) founded.
  • 1997: Status changed from organization which has 50%+ state funding to one with a state funding of smaller scale (below 50%)
  • October 1, 1997: The new Public Corporation Business Structure Improvement & Privatization Act applied to KT (no longer exempted owing to the change in company status)
  • 1998: Headquarters relocated from Jongno-gu, Seoul, to Bundang-gu, Gyeonggi Province
  • December 1998: Newly listed on stock exchange
  • 1999: Mugunghwa Satellite No. 3 launched
  • June 2000: Managerial rights of Hansol M.com acquired
  • December 2000: IMT-2000 license acquired
  • April 2001: Caller ID (CID) service launched

After privatizationEdit

  • May 2001: Plans for privatization announced. Celebrated 20th anniversary and changed name from Korea Telecom to KT. KT's telephone exchanges restructured into regional branch offices. "Let's" launched as the new company slogan.
  • 2002: Privatization of company finalized.[9]
  • 2005: According to Fair Trade Commission data, KT as a corporate group that holds 12 subsidiaries and total assets of 29.315 trillion won, ranked 8th among Korea's conglomerates.
  • December 28, 2005: Launched inter-Korean telecommunication services and opened KT branch office in North Korea's Gaesung industrial complex
  • January 2009: Six days after inauguration as the new Chairman of KT, Suk-Chae Lee announced plans for KT-KTF merger at press conference
  • March 2009:[10] Received conditional approval from Korea Communications Commission (KCC) on KT-KTF merger
  • April 2009: Debut of Qook, a service bundle brand. “Ann” landline phone, “Megapass” broadband and “Mega TV” IPTV services were renamed “Qook Phone,” “Qook Internet” and “Qook TV,” respectively.

After KT-KTF mergerEdit

  • June 1, 2009: KT and its wireless subsidiary KTF merged to form a new unified KT
  • July 2009: Previous company slogan "All New" replaced with "Olleh Management,"and "Olleh KT" officially launched as the new CI
  • November 2009:[11] Launch of Qook and Show broadband services.
  • November 2009: Became first local carrier to launch Apple's iPhone in Korean market
  • December 2009: Launched the first 3W (Wi-Fi, WiBro, WCDMA) smartphone "Show Omnia" in Korean market
  • June 2010: Launched "uCloud", a cloud-based storage service
  • August 2010: Company's internet services relaunched under the name "Olleh" in alignment with company slogan
  • August 31, 2010: KT included as Dow Jones Sustainability World Index company[12]
  • September 10, 2010: Launched Apple's iPhone 4 in Korean market and unlimited 3G data plan[13]
  • November 11–12, 2010: the official telecommunications service provider for the G20 Seoul summit[14]
  • January 25, 2011: Fixed-line "Qook" and cellular "Show" broadband services were unified under the "Olleh" brand. They were renamed "Olleh Home" and "Olleh Mobile," respectively.[15]
  • February 10, 2011: Acquired 20.05% of BC Card shares, emerging as the second-largest shareholder.[16]
  • January 3, 2012 : KT launched its LTE service.[17]
  • September 2012 : kt was awarded the Global Supersector Leader for Telecommunications (number 1 company in terms of sustainable business practices) by Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for two consecutive years.[18]
  • In late 2015 former KT president Suk-Jae Lee was charged of breach of trust and embezzlement, allegations which he denies.[19]

Corporate governanceEdit

KT's Board of Directors (BOD) consists of three non-independent directors and eight outside directors, totaling eleven directors as of March 2012. The outside directors are nominated by the Outside Director Nomination Committee based on their expertise and business leadership, and hold office for less than three years. The BOD chairman is selected from among the outside directors and serves for a one-year term. The BOD consists of five standing subcommittees and two ad hoc subcommittees. If required, additional sub-committees may be set up. The current internal directors are Chang-Gyu Hwang (Chairman & CEO), Hyeon-myung Pyo and Il-yung Kim, and the external directors are Eung Han Kim (Board Chairman), Chun-Ho Lee, Hyun-nak Lee, Byong-won Bahk, Keuk-je Sung, Sang-Kyun Cha, Do-Kyun Song.[20]



As of 2012 KT customers can receive the services on any of radio frequency band assigned, one or more of radio interfaces.[21]

frequency range Frequency
Generation Radio interface License Notes
850 MHz (819-824, 864-869) 26 10 3.9G LTE 50 billion won,[22] for 10 years (planned)
900 MHz (905-915, 950-960) 8 2x10 3.9G LTE
1800 MHz (1735-1740, 1745-1755, 1830-1850) 3 35 3.9G LTE
2100 MHz (1960-1980,2150-2170) 1 2x20 3.5G, 3.9G W-CDMA, LTE 130 billion won, for 15 years
2300 MHz (2330-2360) 30 3.9G WiBro 12.68 billion won, with rural area support,
for 7 years, until Mar 2019
3500 MHz (??) 100 5G NR
28 GHz (??) 800 5G NR

Smartphones and tabletsEdit

KT was the first operator in South Korea to introduce the iPhone, into the Korean market in November 2009.[23][24] The next generation model sold one million units within four months of its September 2010 launch. KT launched the iPad in November 2010.[25]

Wi-Fi hotspotsEdit

As of June 2015, KT owns and operates more than 140,000 Wi-Fi hotspots under the name "KT Olleh WiFi zones."[26]

4G LTEEdit

KT discontinued 2G coverage in January 2012 in the Seoul area, and March 2012 in the rest of South Korea on the 1.8 GHz frequency, whichwill be reassigned for LTE network branded "Olleh LTE" (올레 엘티이)LTE coverage all over South Korea will be accomplished by June 2012. Dual-band LTE on the 900 MHz will be available in Seoul by the end of 2012.[27]


In June 2015 KT announced it has teamed up with Samsung Electronics to combine Wi-Fi and LTE in a gigabit-speed mobile service called GiGA LTE.[28] The new network is estimated to be 15 times faster than the existing LTE and four times faster than the tri-band LTE-A, the fastest wireless network currently available in the Korean market.[29]


KT is the only operator that provides TRS in South Korea, as it merged t-on Telecom in September 2012.

Smart HomeEdit

In the first half of 2011, kt launched the "Kibot", a robot specially developed for the education and entertainment of children, which has value-added features, such as more advanced versions of functionalities found on the existing video and Internet phones. In the second half of the year, kt plans to expand beyond voice services by actively pursuing Smart Home services, centering on a rich array of contents.[clarification needed]

Mobile TVEdit

kt launched the Mobile TV app, which enables customers to view live IPTV and video on demand on their smartphones and tablets.

Satellite ServicesEdit

Koreasat 5A launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket in 2017

Operated the Koreasat fleet of satellites since 1995. Some of these satellites have been sold to Asia Broadcast Satellite while KT Corporation continues to provide some satellite services.[30]

Global businessEdit


On April 27, 2017, KT announced the launch of a 'GiGA Island' in Bangladesh, the result of multilateral partnerships with the Bangladesh government, international organizations, public institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). KT connected the Moheshkhali Island to the inland areas by installing the wireless network technology ‘GiGA Microwave’ and used copper-based KT's providing giga-level internet solution ‘GiGA Wires’ to circulate network traffic within the island. With the ‘GiGA Microwave’, the island could successfully receive 500Mbit/s internet service, and the ‘GiGA Wire’ enables the island's internet speed at the most 100Mbit/s. This enabled more than 30% of the residents in Moheshkhali to communicate with the world through high-speed internet.


In 2012, KT contracted with the Brunei government to establish National Data Center (NDC) and its operation.[31]


Since 1995, KT has been a major shareholder of Mongolia Telecom. KT dispatched business professionals to Mongolia and operated various training programs.[32] In 2012, KT contracted with the Mongolian government for establishing an Earthquake Disaster Warning System (EDWS).[33]

South AfricaEdit

In 2012, KT and Telkom signed for a consultancy agreement for providing business improvement strategies for mobile sector and iWayAfrica, Telkom's subsidiary for its VSAT business.[34]


In 2007, KT signed a contract to build a Mobile WiMAX (or WiBro) network in Rwanda.[35] In 2008, KT signed a deal with the Rwandan government to build the backbone its new telecommunication network.[36] In December 2012, KT conducted a national information security project in Rwanda with Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).[37] In March 2013, KT signed a contract with the Rwandan government to establish the joint venture to build a nationwide mobile LTE network.[38]


On March 21, 2013, KT, Daewoo International Corporation, and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) signed an $18 million contract to establish high-speed Internet network in Podlaskie, Poland.[39] On October 3, 2013, the KT consortium signed a Public Private partnership (PPP) with the Mazowieckie province for a $130 million broadband project.

United StatesEdit

On June 14, 2017, KT announced[40] that it had signed an MOU with the city of Boston to participate in the Boston Digital Equity Project, a policy that aims to create a better internet environment across the city center. Under the agreement, KT will provide its GiGA Wire technology, a service that offers speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second using copper wire instead of optical cables, leveraging G.hn technology.


In 2007, KT acquired 54.5% of East Telecom, Uzbekistan's second-largest fixedline operator, and 60% of the shares of the WiMAX operator, Super iMAX.[32]

KT sports teamsEdit

Smart grid investmentEdit

KT is currently involved in the Jeju Smart Place test bed project led by Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which is being pursued for the purpose of testing and developing smart grid business models. The project is being conducted on 6,000 households in Jeju island's Gujwa-eup area, and is scheduled to be conducted over a period of 42 months from May 2009 to May 2013. The aim of the project is to provide an integrated energy management service and achieve the means for efficient energy usage by adopting renewable energy sources and energy storage devices. The project is being executed by the KT Consortium, which is composed of KT and fourteen other companies, including Samsung SDI, Hyosung, Samsung Electronics, and four contractors, with the focus being to conduct demonstration tests on electric power-communication convergence business models.


KT Internet slowdown incidentEdit

On April 17, 2021, it was revealed that the 10-Gigabit Internet plan used by YouTuber It-seop was actually being serviced at 100 Mega. It-seop released the data on the speed test in the video, after which the controversy was published, and KT users repelled it.[44]

On April 19, 2021, KT explained that "the customer's information was incorrectly transferred due to an error in the process of moving the studio recently" and "For this reason, only 100 megabytes would have been provided." Subsequently, KT officially acknowledged and apologized for causing inconvenience to customers at the 6 o'clock meeting.[45]


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  4. ^ "페이지 오류 안내 - 글로벌 No.1 KT". www.kt.com.
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External linksEdit