From: Reuters
Published April 3, 2008 01:57 AM

LG Telecom may offer 3G service on Google platform

SEOUL (Reuters) - LG Telecom Co Ltd <032640.KQ>, South Korea's third-biggest mobile service operator, may offer its third-generation service on phones using Google's <GOOG.O> mobile software platform, LG's chief executive said on Thursday.

"We are using an open platform for our 3G service," CEO Jung Il-jae told reporters.

"Google and other companies have shown interest," Jung said, adding a formal negotiation has not started with Google.

South Korean handset maker LG Electronics Inc <066570.KS> said in February it would start selling a model running on Google's Android mobile phone operating system in late 2008 or early 2009. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> also hopes to have a Google phone in early 2009.

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Jung said Android phones would be available first for 3G services based on GSM (global system for mobile communications) technology, although LG Telecom, which uses the rival CDMA (code division multiple access) standard, could eventually offer Android phones.

No.1 U.S. mobile service AT&T Inc <T.N> said on Wednesday it was interested in selling phones based on Android.

LG, which has 18 percent of South Korea's 44 million mobile users, has lagged behind bigger rivals SK Telecom Co <017670.KS> and KTF Co Ltd <032390.KS> in providing more profitable 3G services, such as video calls and wireless Internet.

LG hopes to win users for its 3G services through easy-to-use and cheaper full Internet browsing service, which allows direct access to the Internet just like fixed-line platforms.

Kosdaq-listed LG Telecom rose 0.4 percent to 7,600 won by 1:05 a.m. EDT, compared with the Kosdaq index's <.KQ11> 0.13 percent gain.

(Reporting by Rhee So-eui, editing by Marie-France Han and Keiron Henderson)

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