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Korea Boosts Annual IT Investment

The government will pour almost $1 billion into South Korea's information technology industry this year in a bid to boost the domestic industry's global competitiveness.
SEOUL, South Korea — The government will pour almost $1 billion into South Korea's information technology industry this year in a bid to boost the domestic industry's global competitiveness.

The Ministry of Information and Communication said Tuesday (Jan. 17) it has earmarked 963.4 billion won ($979.7 million) to promote the IT industry in 2006. The investment represents a 10.1 percent hike from 2005.

The investment includes 707.6 billion won for research and development, 114.5 billion won for education and the remainder for infrastructure.

Most of the R&D budget will be spent on developing high-speed wireless Internet and digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) services. Both have been targeted by the government’s as IT industry drivers.

South Korea has successfully tested the IEEE-certified mobile WiMAX service, known here as WiBro, which is scheduled to be rolled out here by mid-year. It has also launched commercial satellite and terrestrial DMB services.

The government also said it will invest 26.5 billion won to boost component technology development, including core parts for mobile phones, while expanding expenditures to 77.9 billion won, up 10 percent from a year earlier, to develop new embedded software and digital content.

The ministry will also set aside 33.5 billion won for work on standardization of IT-related technologies for the global market. Another 107.4 billion won will be invested in improving South Korea's IT infrastructure.