This article reviews the development and progress of the Korean telecommunications industry. A brief history of Korean telecommunications is provided. The government’s role as a key player within industry and relevant policy is analysed. An analysis of the market competition and regulation systems as well as customer protections is conducted. IoT and 5G technologies are introduced to enable Korea to continue leading the global market.
This paper takes the approach that industry developments, the structure of governmental decision-making bodies, and policy responses are interdependent and mutually shaped. How ministries and regulatory bodies are designed and put together affects both their policy outlooks and managerial capabilities, in turn affecting their policy output. Governments have also consciously restructured ministries and regulators in order to promote specific policy orientations, or in response to changes in the industry. This three-way interaction is critically important to the responses of governments to the emerging broadband ecosystem. The paper examines four different restructurings in the Korean government, and argues that the identification of a governmental agency as a nodal agency was the result of a new policy orientation, and the response to a change in the industrial environment. Though no two countries are totally similar in terms of their industrial and political environments or policy needs, the paper is based on the premise that the example of South Korea has useful lessons for other countries, as a leading indicator of changes in government regulatory structures in response to convergence and the emergence of the broadband ecosystem.