SEOUL, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s leading mobile carrier, said Sunday it will establish a joint venture with major telecommunication firms from Singapore and Thailand to better develop gaming and esports services for the Southeast Asian market.
SK Telecom said it has joined hands with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (Singtel) and Advanced Info Service Public Company Ltd. (AIS) of Thailand to set up a joint venture that focuses on providing gaming platform services.
The three companies will have equal shares in the joint venture, which will start its services later this year.
The latest deal marks the expansion of the partnership signed between SK Telecom and Singtel last February. Then, the two sides agreed to cooperate in the region’s gaming sector.
Instead of developing mobile or online games, the joint venture, whose name has yet to be unveiled, aims to provide a global social network of gamers and operate businesses related to esports and media content.
Its services may include broadcasting esports competitions using virtual reality technology and making video content of professional esports players, according to SK Telecom.
SK Telecom said it took about a year to complete the project, adding that the companies will keep searching for new partners and game developers that can help the joint venture.
Meanwhile, SK Telecom said the joint venture agreement was signed remotely by CEOs on Thursday following a video conference linking Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok, apparently due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
SK Telecom has been one of the active telecommunication firms expanding its presence in the gaming industry.
Last year, it launched an esports joint venture with U.S. sports and entertainment company Comcast Spectator and also joined forces with Microsoft Corp. for a 5G-based cloud gaming service in South Korea.