& cplSiteName &

SK Telecom Gives Dialing a Makeover

Sarah Thomas
2/27/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- SK Telecom was not only the first operator to reinvent how voice calling sounds with its voice-over-LTE launch, but it is also the first to reinvent how it looks with its new dialer for Android. (See South Korea Hears First 4G Voice Service.)

SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) is calling the dialer makeover, T-Phone, the first innovative dialer built by an operator, which is probably a fair statement as the native interface has remained static even while fancier over-the-top alternatives have emerged. Silver Ryu, the manager of SK Telecom's product planning division, also told Light Reading at MWC that it's the first time an operator has worked this closely with handset makers -- Samsung Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) -- to develop such a service.

T-Phone Calling
Silver Ryu, manager of the product planning division at SK Telecom, shows off T-Phone, the carrier's reinvented Android dialer.
Silver Ryu, manager of the product planning division at SK Telecom, shows off T-Phone, the carrier's reinvented Android dialer.

T-Phone has a much more fun, accessible appearance than your standard dialer. Some of the new enhancements include widgets for the top 12 people called on the home screen, call forwarding, and a dashboard to keep track of voice minutes and data used.

T-Phone is an open platform, so the carrier is working with third parties to continue to enhance it. One of the early examples is a spam feature, which Ryu said a developer built using SK's APIs. When an unknown number calls, a ranking will show up indicating how likely it is to be spam. At the end of calls, the user is asked to rank the caller to help make this more accurate.

SK has also integrated its T-Map, which Ryu said is the most popular mobile navigation service in South Korea, so that when a call is received, the phone automatically searches the T-Map database of one million companies and stores to display their information directly on the contact page.

Ryu said SK Telecom developed the dialer to, first of all, show telcos can do innovation, and, more importantly, prevent customers from churning. An ultimate goal, however, is to monetize it. SK Telecom is already working on offering retailers and restaurants opportunities to market themselves by, for example, having a picture pop up when they call a customer.

The South Korean operator plans to license the software for its dialer to other operators, who are bound to follow suit. It's a sleek design, an improved experience, and a potential way to make money without charging customers. But, more importantly, they'll follow suit because where SK Telecom goes, the rest of the world typically follows -- albeit, months, even years, later.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 10:27:56 PM
Re: Looks good
@Carol I would be happy to have a spam filter. I don't get a lot of phone spam but it would still be nice to get less.

I wonder how often email spam filters are used to silently (and permanently ) ignore incoming messages from former friends or exes.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 6:05:57 PM
Re: Looks good
There are actually a handful of phone number forwarding systems that allow you to block incoming calls based on phone numbers and whitelist/blacklist spam settings. Interestingly, not many telecoms offer these features. It's usually offered by various VOIP services. 
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 6:02:53 PM
Re: Looks good

I've never had good luck with voice dialing. You see it catching on?

I have never seen a voice dialer that was better/faster than my fingers. It works (sometimes) if you only have a few contacts that you dial frequently (and they all have distinctly different sounding voice tags). But once you know two contacts named Dave Something (or Jenn Something), the accuracy gets annoying.

Has Siri really "caught on" for anything other than its novelty? I'm not sure Google Now is that useful either... Maybe I'll be wrong. I do remember when Google had its 1-800-GOOG-411 service, and that was okay, but not exactly a replacement for dialing. Voice menu systems are really only useful when you can't use your hands for some reason (like maybe you're driving).

Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 1:06:27 PM
Re: Looks good
Haha, good point, Carol. I wonder if there's reprocussions for a company that gets a bunch of spam ratings. Hopefully they would block that number for you. It's surprisingly hard to do on your own.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 11:22:14 AM
Re: What Sparkle said...
Yeah, that was interesting and helps make it a much more integrated experience. I wonder how willing the handset makers are to doing stuff like this. Is is that the operators haven't asked before?
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 11:03:49 AM
Re: Looks good
I don't use voice dialing myself -- I sitll use my VOIP phone in my office for most of my calls. But if I was remote a lot I would. I find it much easier to use my Bluetooth headset than holding phone to my ear. If my Bluetooth is unavailable, I much prefer the speaker. Again, I suffer from fat finger diseases.
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 10:41:45 AM
Re: Looks good
Based on the description, this is something I would use immediately, espeically the spam feature and the frequent dialer buttons. 

You have to wonder, though, if the spam reporting feature wouldn't quickly become a popular way of gaining revenge...

 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 10:16:42 AM
What Sparkle said...
Also interesting here is the cooperative development between the carrier and the device maker to do something that for now seems fairly unique.

Ok, I confess, I just wanted to have a post with the subject line "What Sparkle said..."
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 9:54:49 AM
Re: Looks good
Yeah, I really liked the look of it. And, they said the 10 names/numbers on the home screen get called 80% of the time. 

I've never had good luck with voice dialing. You see it catching on?
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 9:48:19 AM
Looks good
From the photo, it looks like a larger "keypad" than others, which will certainly help those of us with "fat finger" disease. But with voice dialing beocming more prominent, I wonder how much uptake this will really have.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
In time for Internet of Things World, IoT World News profiles four women who are driving the technology behind IoT.
Women in Comms and its 40 member companies are gearing up for an even bigger and better 2017, and we want YOU to join us on the path to gender equality in comms.
Sprint's VP of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco joins WiC on Wednesday, November 2, at 1PM ET to share how Sprint is tackling the three biggest pipeline pain points affecting women in comms.
Women often struggle to advance past middle management or end up leaving the workplace at that time, so WiC's 11th panel discussion in London next week will tackle how to get unstuck and keep moving up the corporate ladder.
Intel's Lynn Comp joins WiC on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1PM EST to talk company culture -- what it is, how to craft a positive one and how to communicate it internally and externally.
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.