The Q3 earnings of South Korean telecom company SK Telecom dropped 13.5%, mainly due to Samsung Galaxy Note 7 crisis. The operating profit amounted to 424.3 billion won (US$372 million).
The revenue also dropped 0.4% on-year to 4.24 trillion won, and net profit dropped 15.63%. The average revenue per user (ARPU) for the quarter fell 0.8%. Besides the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the number of customers subscribed to a special call plan increased. The special call plan provides a discount on call and data charges instead of offering one-time subsidy per service contract.
In the quarter, SK Telecom started offering the mobile navigation service ‘T Map,’ free-of-charge to the subscribers of other Korean mobile carriers. Thus, the number of users of T Map grew to 9.18 million by the end of September 2016. Similarly, SK Telecom has opened ‘T Phone’ free-of-charge to non-SK Telecom customers in July 2016. The number of T Phone subscribers has crossed 10 million as of August 2016.
“We expect that our strategy to fully open up major platforms including T Map and T Phone will lead to a successful outcome in the mid-to long-term,” said Hwang Keun-joo, CFO and Head of Strategy and Planning Division at SK Telecom.
In September 2016, SK Telecom launched NUGU, a voice-activated Artificial Intelligence (AI) service and plans to collaborate with partners to promote AI industry in Korea.
“SK Telecom will accelerate its transformation into a next-generation platform company and keep developing customer-oriented products and services,” Keun-joo added.
In the segment of internet-of-things (IoT), SK Telecom has deployed 24 different IoT services in areas including gas and electricity.