Earthlink, SK Create MVNO

SK Telecom and EarthLink announce joint venture to form national wireless provider

January 26, 2005

2 Min Read


The new entity, to be called SK-EarthLink ( www.SK-EarthLink.com ) and capitalized with $440 million of partner investments over the next three years, will be a non-facilities-based nationwide mobile virtual network operator ("MVNO"). SK-EarthLink will combine the competitive advantages of its parent companies to deliver, for the first time, an innovative suite of wireless services and applications that meet the information, entertainment and communications needs of U.S. consumers.

The joint venture marks SK Telecom's first ever strategic partnership to enter the U.S. market to grow its worldwide subscriber base. SK Telecom is one of the world's most advanced wireless carriers, with more than 18 million customers and over 50 percent of the mobile services market in South Korea. The Seoul-based company offers state of the art wireless voice and data offerings including interactive gaming, video streaming and location-based services.

EarthLink has more than five million subscribers and has been a leader in delivering award-winning Internet services for 10 years. Most notably, EarthLink is the first major ISP to offer a permission-based spam fighting feature and other innovative tools that block pop-up ads, spyware and phisher sites. EarthLink was also the first major ISP to become an MVNO, beginning with a wireless data service in 2000, and then launching a wireless data/voice solution in 2004.

"This partnership reflects 30 years of combined experience that EarthLink and SK Telecom have gained anticipating and delivering innovative Internet applications and wireless services," said Garry Betty, EarthLink president and chief executive officer. "SK-EarthLink has the potential to reshape the mobile communications market by meeting the growing demand of U.S. consumers who are currently underserved by existing voice-oriented wireless operators."

EarthLink Inc.

SK Telecom

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