SK Telecom (SKT) unveiled a plan to spin off its current mobility services unit as it seeks to boost innovation, alongside the formation of a joint venture with Uber Technologies to develop related amenities.
The operator aims to complete the creation of T Map Mobility by 29 December. It stated the unit will take over services currently offered by its Mobility Business Unit, is valued at around KRW1 trillion ($872 million) and predicted it would be worth KRW4.5 trillion by 2025.
SKT noted Uber Technologies was one of the first of several external backers it aims to attract for T Map Mobility. It committed to invest $50 million into the spin-off and $100 million into the pair’s joint venture, which is expected to begin services in H1 2021.
In a statement, SKT explained T Map Mobility will take control of all existing services including its T Map navigation system, “the largest mobility platform” in South Korea with “around 13 million monthly active users” (MAUs); and the “nation’s second-largest” taxi booking service covering 200,000 drivers and 750,000 MAUs.
Other services in the new unit’s remit include in-car payment, on-demand, and subscription-based transportation options.
But it will also explore employing 5G and AI to deliver future services including “optimal route planning; 3D HD mapping for high-altitude geographic features; and intelligent air traffic control systems” for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
SKT CEO Park Jung-ho said it planned to “work closely with companies with diverse capabilities to address current challenges in transportation”, tipping flying cars as a potential future outcome of the work.