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SK Telecom is Korea’s largest mobile communications service provider, specializing in data-driven applications and advanced multimedia services delivered to cell phones, personal digital assistants, and MP3 players. It provides music and streaming video services such as movies, video clips, animation, games, sports, and television programs, as well as real-time financial information (such as stock trades, investments, and insurance policies).
Since its foundation in 1984, SK Telecom has maintained its commitment to customer service. In 2009, the company was ranked first in the national customer satisfaction index (NCSI), the Korea customer satisfaction index (KCSI), and the Korean standard service quality index (KS-SQI). SK Telecom was also voted most innovative company of the year by Wall Street Journal Asia.
SK Telecom leads in customer satisfaction by being innovative. The company’s aim is to improve satisfaction by providing detailed and accurate usage information in real-time, which would help users obtain the information they want without having to go through complicated call center procedures.
SK Telecom prides itself on being an innovative communications company that introduces new products and services ahead of a changing market. Due to the increasing demand for more wireless mobile data from smart phone customers, SK Telecom became the first mobile communications operator in Korea to introduce rate plans with unlimited data usage. This led to a large increase in data volumes and, as a result, the company’s data analysis and verification processes became more complex.
To address these issues, SK Telecom developed a range of support systems, including a data billing analysis system in October 2009, the first system to benefit from increased performance through the use of Oracle Exadata Database Machine. The company migrated to Oracle Exadata Database Machine V2 in December 2010. Due to rapid increases in database size, in May 2011 SK Telecom added Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2, incorporating Exadata Storage Server Software, enabling the company to store 1 petabyte (PB) of raw data. A second system was developed to offer more detailed categorization of usage data, making available that data in real-time.
SK Telecom also implemented a third system: a roaming data inquiry system based on the prediction that customers would increasingly demand access to more detailed usage information. The system would also support the increase in roaming data traffic due to the use of services such as e-banking and e-mail. All three systems benefit from improved performance on Oracle Exadata Database Machine V2 and Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2.
“In comparison to custom-built equipment with similar capabilities, Oracle Exadata Database Machine has overwhelmingly superior performance, with average data processing rates 8 to 20 times greater than other SK Telecom in-house systems.”
Jin-hyung Lee, Manager, Network Engineering Department, SK Telecom
Today SK Telecom runs 70 billing collection systems on Oracle Exadata Database Machine V2 and Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2. The systems process, on average, 40 billion transactions each day, equivalent to 10 terabytes (TB) of raw data.
SK Telecom compresses raw user data before it is loaded into Oracle Database 11g. “We use the Oracle Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression technology to compress around 10TB of raw data each day, reducing the data size to 1TB, achieving a 10:1 (10x) compression rate,” said Jin-hyung Lee, manager, network engineering department, SK Telecom. “This means we need fewer storage resources.”
Oracle Exadata can support 560 simultaneous users per hour, with data processing rates between 8 to 20 times greater than other SK Telecom in-house systems. It is also two to three times faster when it comes to real-time extract, transform, and load processes, as well as daily batching and fact generation.
In 2009, SK Telecom deployed Oracle Exadata Database Machine to run a data billing analysis system, which checks for any billing inconsistencies before invoices are sent to customers. This led to a10-fold improvement in data warehouse querying performance and enhanced billing accuracy, which uncovered millions of dollars of unbilled revenue. This delivered a very quick return on investment (ROI).
With the introduction of the data billing verification system in 2009, SK Telecom also gained the ability to provide proactive services, which reduced the cost of labor assigned to answering customer billing inquiries and increased customer satisfaction.
In 2010, SK Telecom implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine V2. In the same year, the company also introduced usage data and roaming data inquiry systems, further enhancing proactive services as these systems allow customers to search for their roaming data usage information.
In response to a rapidly growing database, in May 2011SK Telecom implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2, incorporating Exadata Storage Server Software, enabling the company to store 1PB of raw data.
As the Oracle Exadata Database Machine platform collects and processes data in real-time, SK Telecom can now develop a data traffic prediction system. This system can systematically prepare for the increase in data traffic caused by the rise in the use of mobile internet services, both in Korea and abroad.
As demand for more data throughput increases and customer expectations grow, SK Telecom aims to expand areas of analysis used for planning and predicting services. The company is also seeking to improve the volume of data throughput and accuracy, and it plans to utilize new solutions and optional functions offered by Oracle, such as database compression and partitioning, to enhance the performance of existing systems.
SK Telecom implemented Oracle Data Integrator to ensure data from its various systems can be easily integrated into the Oracle Exadata Database Machine. Oracle Data Integrator provides extremely fast data integration capabilities, while ensuring maximum availability of the Oracle Exadata Database Machine.
The company also uses Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to analyze billing data, customer usage and roaming information, and trends in mobile internet usage. This ensures SK Telecom is fully aware of any changes in customer usage and preferences, as well as industry developments, helping the company develop strategies to grow its business.
Oracle Exadata Database Machine was chosen because test results showed it could support and exceed the performance service level agreements required for all new systems designed to enhance customer satisfaction. The data usage and data roaming systems have been deployed on Oracle Exadata Database Machine in a large multiterabyte data warehouse. Oracle Exadata Database Machine runs on Oracle Linux and offers SK Telecom the stability and flexibility to expand according to data usage, and optimized data warehouse performance.
SK Telecom was the first company in the Asia-Pacific region to implement Oracle Exadata Database Machine. The company selected Oracle to underpin its integrated billing analysis system because of its previous experience with Oracle products and services. Oracle Exadata Database Machine’s performance was confirmed when the extraction of voice-of-customer data was shortened from between one and three days to real-time, while maintaining accuracy.
SK Telecom first implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine in 2009, going live in October of that year. The migration to Oracle Exadata Database Machine V2 started in July 2010. The company went live in December 2010. In May 2011, SK Telecom implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2, going live in October 2011. The company utilized the Oracle Unbreakable Linux support program to ensure the availability of its database infrastructure.
SK Telecom is the largest mobile communications service provider in Korea, specializing in data-driven applications and advanced multimedia services delivered to cell phones, personal digital assistants, and MP3 players.