& 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
WiC congratulates the winners of our inaugural Leading Lights awards: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff, Zayo Group's Sandi Mays and startup Grid4C.
Leaders from Mellanox, Arista Networks, Syniverse, ECI Telecom and Cisco round out WiC's inaugural female tech pioneers of the year.
Women from AT&T, Ciena, Ixia, Zayo Group and Fujitsu make our shortlist for working to advance the cause of women in the next-gen comms industry.
Join WiC and Flex's Caroline Dowling for a live radio show on Tuesday at 12PM ET on how technology is powering the fourth revolution and to what effect in the future.
New companies with a focus on video graphics, smart grid predictive analytics and a quadcopter camera make up WiC's finalists for Female-Led Startup to Watch.
Light Reading’s 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.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, 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.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Are IP/Optical Integration Initiatives Moving to Silos?
Faisal Khan, Network Operator Technology Planning Dept., 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.