This chapter examines telecommunications development in South Korea. In the 1980s South Korea began to modernize its telecom infrastructure, expand communications throughout the nation, and reform in a top down fashion. Korea Telecom, a supply-oriented state monopoly, was established in 1981 and started operations in 1982 as part of a structural separation of telecom policy and management functions to improve efficiency and eliminate the waiting list for telephones. Korea's first analogue cellular services were started in 1984 by the state-run Korea Mobile Telecommunications Service. The government also promoted the development of a digital telephone switching system, known as TDX, which enabled faster switching than analogue equipment and helped relieve chronic network congestion.
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