South Korea’s Rise has a special report on how it is becoming a powerhouse in technology.

With 13 million of the country’s 48 million citizens living in the high-rise forests of this dense metropolis, people are constantly spying on what their neighbors or fellow subway commuters are buying. As a result, South Korea has become something of an open-air focus group for technology manufacturers, accelerating replacement cycles and a plethora of new product uses.

The local embrace of technology along with an active national government, export-driven local industries, and extensive use of broadband are the key factors permitting the country to wedge its way toward the forefront of the digital revolution. While other national economies rose and fell with the personal computer industry, South Korea is shaping up as a technology powerhouse through consumer electronics.

Look at the vision outlined by the Ministry of Information and Communication:

The South Korean government has outlined ambitious goals for eight services, three infrastructure technologies and nine product categories.

Under this so-called 8-3-9 initiative, the country’s Ministry of Information and Communication has identified specific technologies that it will encourage by funding research or providing other incentives.

Ultimately, the goal is to raise the sagging per capita gross domestic product from around $11,000 (11,595,042 won) to $20,000 by 2010.

One 8-3-9 focus is digital multimedia broadcasting, which allows people to get broadband Internet and entertainment channels remotely. It is still primarily in development in the United States, but it powers flat-screen televisions in upscale Hyundais and Acuras stuck in Seoul’s relentless traffic jams.

Some other goals are:

Digital homes: 500,000 networked households by 2004; 10 million by 2007
RFID: tiniest and cheapest radio frequency technology by 2007
W-CDMA: countrywide network based on the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access standard by 2006
Digital TV: national network set up by 2005
VoIP: 4 million users of voice over Internet Protocol by 2006

Broadband convergence network: 20 million users by 2010 Sensor networks: commonplace by 2010 IPv6: convert to Internet Protocol version 6 by 2010

System on a chip: become one of top three countries in this market by 2007
Next-generation PC: introduce wearable PC by 2007
Embedded software: become second-largest producer of embedded software by 2007
Robots: global presence by 2007

This is the kind of vision and action India needs.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.