ATLANTA and BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, operator of the most reliable wireless network in the U.S., and SK Telecom, the Republic of Korea's leading provider of information and telecommunications services, today announced a strategic relationship to collaborate on wireless multimedia business issues, including Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) architecture and third-generation (3G) multimedia services. The two companies will work closely to improve the EV-DO customer experience and promote acceptance in the enterprise and small business markets in their respective countries.
Earlier this year, Verizon Wireless announced plans to expand its EV-DO (3G) wide-area service BroadbandAccess so as to make BroadbandAccess service available throughout additional portions of its network beginning later this year. With average user speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second, BroadbandAccess is the fastest commercially available wide-area wireless data service offered in the United States today. The company expects to invest $1 billion over the next two years to deploy its EV-DO technology in portions of its network across the nation.
SK Telecom, a global leader in 3G wireless services, has had significant success with EV-DO-based services. SK Telecom currently has over 4.4 million subscribers, or approximately 24% of the total subscriber base, that utilize EV-DO enabled handsets. SK Telecom subscribers that utilize EV-DO- enabled handsets contribute approximately 30% in total revenue. SK Telecom currently has more than 40 EV-DO-enabled handset models commercially available.
"Our relationship with Verizon Wireless will allow both companies to continue to lead the industry in wireless data innovation," said Sung Cheol Hong, Vice-President of Global Business Division of SK Telecom. "Working together, SK Telecom and Verizon Wireless are able to pool our experiences to bring leading wireless data services to our customers."
"SK Telecom is a recognized leader in EV-DO development and deployment and has been a driver of market acceptance of this exciting technology," said Jim Straight, vice president of wireless Internet and multimedia services for Verizon Wireless. "Verizon Wireless looks forward to continuing to work with SK Telecom to offer our customers a sophisticated and diverse range of services that will allow them to enjoy the benefits of high-speed data access technology."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 37.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.
About SK Telecom
SK Telecom is the Republic of Korea's leading provider of information and telecommunications services spanning Mobile Services, M-Commerce, overseas operations with 18.4 million subscribers. SK Telecom commercialized the world's first CDMA cellular service in 1996 and the first cdma2000 1X service in 2000. Moreover, SK Telecom unveiled the first commercial CDMA 2000 1x EV-DO service in February 2002. Recognizing the enormous potential of the wireless Internet as a new growth engine, SK Telecom continues to pursue the development and promotion of wireless Internet services. Based on the technological developments, SK Telecom launched "JUNE," the latest and the most advanced premium multimedia service in 2002. This innovative service allows subscribers to enjoy vivid streaming video content such as VOD, MOD, videophones, multimedia messaging and TV broadcasting from 9 channels. For details, please visit http://www.sktelecom.com.
NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results related to Verizon Wireless that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: materially adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets served by us, an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities or those of Verizon Communications by nationally accredited ratings organizations, the effects of the substantial competition that exists in our markets, which has been intensifying, and which may intensify further as a result of local number portability regulations that allow wireless customers to retain their phone numbers when switching wireless service providers, our ability to obtain sufficient financing to satisfy our substantial capital requirements, including to fund capital expenditures, debt repayment and distributions to our owners, our ability to obtain sufficient spectrum licenses, particularly in our most densely populated areas, our ability to develop future business opportunities, including wireless data services, and to continue to adapt to the changing conditions in the wireless industry, our ability to receive satisfactory service from our key vendors and suppliers, our ability to generate additional subscribers, with acceptable levels of churn, from resellers and distributors of our service, material changes in available technology, and technology substitution that could impact the popularity and usage of our technology, our continued provision of satisfactory service to our subscribers at an acceptable cost, in order to reduce churn, the impact of continued unionization efforts with respect to our employees, regulatory developments, including new regulations that could increase our cost of doing business or reduce demand for our services, developments in connection with existing or future litigation, and changes in our accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.