Nokia’s back!

Written by admin on April 13, 2009 – 5:36 pm -

With WIPI abolished in South Korea, mobile phone maker Nokia is back albeit with a disappointing launch model.

A few weeks earlier the second largest mobile service provider KTF announced that it would soon be selling the Nokia 6210 (a.k.a. Navigator). This isn’t a new model by any standards and has been around for about two years now. With domestic models offering more features such as hi-res cameras it baffles me as to why Nokia chose this model instead of their flagship N-series or business oriented E-series. I don’t expect the locals nor expats to go gaga over this especially since most domestic offerings from Samsung, LG, CYON and Motorola all offer english menus. The only models that don’t offer english are the smartphones such as Samsung’s Omnia which is powered by Windows Mobile 6. 


More info on the Nokia 6210 here.

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Posted in South Korea, Tech | 2 Comments »

Goodbye WIPI

Written by admin on January 8, 2009 – 11:41 am -

The Korean Communications Commission (KCC) has finally decided to abolish WIPI (Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability) which was a requirement for data enabled mobile phones sold in Korea.

WIPI has prevented mobile phone giants such as Nokia and Sony Erricson from entering the Korean market. Starting April 1, 2009, this should open the floodgates for foreign made mobile phones to compete with the local heavyweights such as Samsung and LG.

What particularly interests me is the entry of PDA and Smartphones, which Koreans have not yet embraced fully. This will also pave the way for Apple’s iPhone 3G , Nokia’s E Series business phones, and Sony Erricsons P Series. Another reason I’m excited is because these foreign smartphones will surely have english support built in to them. Currently most phones from Samsung and LG have english support but Korean smartphones don’t since they usually use Windows Mobile that is localized in Korean.

You techies better start saving up since Korean Telco’s don’t usually subsidize the price of the phones, we can expect prices to be upwards of KWN 700,0000 (USD 500).

Posted in South Korea, Tech | No Comments »

Google Maps Korea

Written by admin on December 9, 2008 – 12:53 pm -

Google has recently announced that a localized version of Google Maps will be available in Korea soon. Previously Google maps has only showed satellite photos of Korea but turn-by-turn street directions, detailed street maps, business and residentials addresses were not available. For me this is significant news because it also might be a factor in the long awaited release of Apple’s iPhone in South Korea. Google and other popular portals such as Friendster, MySpace, Facebook have not been very successful at penetrating the Korean market. Its is my hope that Google being a foreign based company is also sensitive to the english community in Korea and thus create a bi-lingual version. More info from the Korea Times article can be found here.


Posted in South Korea, Tech, Travel | 1 Comment »

The sound of jets and smell of jet fuel

Written by admin on October 13, 2008 – 3:19 pm -

While walking through Songtan near OSAN AB I couldn’t help but notice and electronic billboard that first displayed noise. I had to do a double take as these kinds of signs normally showed the air quality, current weather conditions or pollution index. Not this one though. This billboard displayed the current Noise Pollution and also Vibration Index that were caused the the constant military aircraft activity at Osan Airbase. 

I’m speculating that these may be factors as to why real estate prices, specifically rentals are way cheaper in Osan. For instance, I saw a four bedroom house that was being rented for less than USD 3,000 / month. That is relatively cheap considering that a house of this size is bound to cost over USD 10,000/month in the Seoul. Most of the shops and taxi drivers spoke a decent bit of english. 

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Posted in South Korea | No Comments »

Airshow at Osan Airbase

Written by admin on September 23, 2008 – 2:50 am -

Airpower Day 2008 hosted by the USAF 51st Fighter Wing and the ROK Armed Forces will be held at Osan Airbase, Republic of Korea on the 11-12 of October 2008.

Foreign nationals should bring their passports as part of the requirements for entry.

You can save yourself the trouble of trying to get in if you’re a national of the People’s Republic of China, DPRK (North Korea), Russian Federation, or Iran as you will not be permitted to enter.

For more details and requirements for entry check out the official webpage. [HERE]

If you love the smell of jet fuel in the morning then I guess I’ll see you there. Don’t forget to bring that camera.

Posted in Events, South Korea | No Comments »