Helio, Immigrants!

Every year, many immigrants come into the U.S. for many reasons. One of the major reasons is to enroll in an educational institution; to become students. With a swarm of young asians coming into the U.S., telecom businesses have made efforts to target them – especially the Korean Americans – despite the fact that the Korean American population makes up for less than 1% of the American population, and 70% of them have been born outside of the U.S. borders. Many Korean and Japanese youthes coming into the U.S. often find it like taking a trip to a few years back in time. Having wireless broadband service available in almost every corner of the nation in both Korea and Japan, both the young and the middle-aged demographics commonly use their mobile phones also for other functions such as a credit card, news, TV, pet monitor…etc. Businesses find such a small demographic a powerful one to target because of their connections with potential immigrants and their ability to act as advertising agents when a technology is introduced into the U.S. that has been introduced earlier in parts of Asia.



An interesting characteristic of the asian immigrants (particularly Koreans and Japanese) are their likeliness to continue speaking their native language even in the U.S. Also, statistically, 90% of Korean youth population in Korea – ages 14 to 19 – are said to have their own mobile phones and on average sends about 60.1 messages per day. Incomparison, only 35% of all Americans use the text message feature.

To cater to such demographics, SK Telecom introduced Helio. A mobile phone service which provides its own set of mobile phone devices that have both the Korean and English keypads for text messaging. Also, it offers text messaging overseas and international roaming at low prices. For example, to make calls or to recieve calls to and from Korea, it only costs 10 cents per minute. The phone also works overseas. It not only targets the incoming asian students; it also targets the locals. Helio phone allows access to MySpace.com, Flickr to upload pictures, video and music downloading, and streaming from 10 different internet sources. It also comes with an unlimited text messaging feature.

Such service allows easy transition for immigrants, especially Koreans, to come into the U.S., especially becasue the service and the mobile phone devices can be both purchased and used on both Korean and American soil.




– Joo Young Lim


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