Turk Telekom’s TV customers will soon be able to stream content from Korea, thanks to its newly-expanded partnership with KT Corp.

If the response to KT’s K-Content offering is positive, KT and Turk Telekom have pledged to exchange a greater amount of content, and even jointly invest in co-production.

Their agreement doesn’t stop there. In 2023, once 5G is up and running in Turkey, Turk Telekom plans to use KT’s private LTE/5G platform as the basis for its own private 5G networking service, which will be pitched at corporate and government customers. They also plan to co-develop new and innovative 5G services for enterprises. What’s more, KT and Turk Telekom aim to identify and invest in promising tech start-ups for mutual benefit.

“We are embarking on a long journey with KT, the world’s leading tech company, to promote joint R&D projects in the 5G sector, to invest in start-ups with excellent business and technical capabilities, and to deliver K-content to the Turk Telecom TV platform,” said Turk Telekom CEO Ümit Önal, in a statement on Monday.

The agreement follows on from the MoU established between the two companies at this year’s Mobile World Congress. It covered the joint development of 5G services for the smart cities, robotics and driverless car sectors, as well as AI, big data and cloud.

“I am very pleased that the two companies have collaborated quickly after the MoU signed in March to confirm and promote specific cooperation items,” said Yoon Kyung-rim, head of KT Corp’s transformation division, this week.

KT Corp and Turk Telekom’s relationship stretches back further than March though. At Mobile World Congress 2016, they struck a deal that paved the way for the latter to offer KT’s so-called Giga LTE service to its mobile customers. Aggregating three LTE carriers with Wi-Fi, Giga LTE could theoretically support peak throughput of 1 Gbps, which was no mean feat back then.

In case anyone is wondering why two operators from what appear to be two fundamentally distinct countries are so keen to work with one another, it’s due to the close economic ties between South Korea and Turkey. These ties, first established centuries ago, were reaffirmed more recently during the Korean war. Subsequent decades of trade and reciprocal economic promotion culminated in a free trade deal in 2013. According to the Observatory for Economic Complexity (OEC), in 2020, Korean exports to Turkey totalled $5.71 billion, while exports in the opposite direction came in at $1.14 billion.

With that context in mind, it’s perfectly logical that Turk Telekom would be interested in offering Korean content on its TV platform.

Meanwhile, separately, KT Corp also this week partnered with Korea’s Information and Communication Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) in an effort to promote businesses focused on digital transformation (DX), and foster talent in the fields of DX and AI.

In practical terms, it means the two will offer consultation services to SMEs covering areas like big data, AI and cloud. They will also offer lectures, promote related educational programmes, and provide rent-free education facilities.

“New ICT businesses such as DX and non-face-to-face services are rapidly spreading in across major businesses,” said Lee Mi-hee, head of KT’s C-Level consulting operation.

Therefore, “we will carry out various projects that can contribute to the development of this industry,” he said.

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