It appears that, under some pressure from the government, mobile operators in South Korea are getting ready to knock down their mobile walled gardens and let users access any website they want. They'll even let users set their own home pages, just like a regular computer. This has been an ongoing debate in the mobile industry, as the operators certainly like to keep their walled gardens tightly controlled, in the hopes that they can make some extra cash on content, rather than by making the whole concept of data more appealing by letting anyone provide a better service. Last summer we were surprised that T-Mobile (in Europe) planned to ditch its mobile portal in favor of just pointing people to Google, but the solution in South Korea could be much more powerful, in that it will let people find the best place for them. Obviously, like on computers, many people will simply stick with whatever the default home page is, but leaving it open for the user to set means that there should be some competition among content creators and aggregators to build better mobile portals. Hopefully Helio (formerly SK Earthlink) learns a thing or two from its parent and does something similar in the US.
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