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More Telecom Industry suffering the Credit Crunch!! About time to!
South Korea Created: 25 Jan 2009
Samsung reports first-ever quarterly
Samsung Electronics, the South Korean bellwether of the global consumer electronics industry, today reported its first ever quarterly loss.
The company spooked investors across Asia after losing 20 billion won (£10 million) between October and December, due to lacklustre pre-Christmas spending in all key markets.

The company is the world’s biggest maker of LCD panels, televisions and memory chips, and is viewed as having some of the most aggressively managed supply chains in the industry.

Samsung’s results follow a dramatic forecast downgrade yesterday by Sony, its Japanese arch-rival, which said that it was on course to post its first full-year loss this March.

Both companies, in common with the rest of the industry, are suffering massive pain because of the collapse of some of America’s biggest electronics retailers, and consumers' reluctance to spend on "big ticket" items such as televisions.

However, analysts in Seoul said that Samsung’s loss represented a more troubling message from the electronics industry.

Japanese businesses have seen their profits tumble and competitiveness dented by what industry executives are calling the “freakish” recent rise in the yen against all major currencies.

But Korean exporters, which should have benefitted from the historic weakness of the won against the US dollar, do not appear to have done so, indicating that the downturn has had a largely indiscriminate impact on sales and profits.

The failure of Korea Inc to reap greater rewards from the weak won was further highlighted on Thursday when LG Electronics admitted to record quarterly losses.

“The results showed that our company could not escape the rapid decline in the global economy,” said a Samsung spokesman.

As Americans, Europeans and Asians have simultaneously stopped buying large flat-screen televisions and other high-end consumer electronics, inventories of unsold stock have swollen to unprecedented levels.

That, in turn, has triggered a price-cutting frenzy which has carved into margins and further dented the electronics makers’ numbers.

Fighting brutal price wars has been a persistent feature of Samsung’s business model for many years – its competitiveness in memory chips and LCD panels for televisions has caused giant headaches for the likes of Sharp, Toshiba and a variety of Taiwanese semi-conductor giants.

The downturn in Samsung’s semiconductor business was especially bleak, said analysts.

Many believe that chip production has created an oversupply problem that could continue well into next year. Taiwan’s largest chipmakers have been forced to beg for government money to preserve their businesses, while Intel has also hinted that its 21 year run of profitability might be about to end.
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir. www.mast-victims.org

Out in the cold: Telecom Industry feeling the heat of the Credit Crunch!!
South Korea Created: 24 Jan 2009
LG Electronics: The South Korean manufacturer of mobile phones and flat-screen televisions reported its first
net loss in seven quarters to 671.3 billion won (£354 million), compared with a net profit of 621.3 billion
won a year earlier, hit by falling prices for televisions.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/need_to_know/article5569980.ece?token=null&offset=48&page=5
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir. www.mast-victims.org

Researchers Investigate Cellphone Cancer Link
South Korea Created: 8 Nov 2007
"People who held their mobile phones to their right ears got cancer on the right side of the brain, and those who used the left ear got cancer on the left side of the brain," said Yoon Song-yi, one of the team's researchers.

If you tend to hold your mobile phone on your cheek or cheekbone when you're talking on it, you might want to reconsider that habit. A team of researchers has found that holding a mobile phone like that can lead to an increase in the amount of potentially dangerous electromagnetic waves absorbed into the brain and other body parts.

The electronics engineering team led by Prof. Kim Youn-myung at Dankook University said Sunday that they experimented with 12 kinds of handsets to determine how much energy is absorbed from the handsets. They found that the specific absorption rate (SAR) varied by as much as three times depending on how and where the phone is held to the face.

According to the study, the lower the microphone of the handset is placed from the mouth and the closer the handset is held to the cheek, the higher the SAR. This was true regardless of the type of handset -- folder or slide -- and the location of the antenna -- internal or external. Yet SAR was slightly lower with slide types and with internal antennas.

The team came up with guidelines to minimize exposure to electromagnetic waves. They advised not lowering the microphone closer to the chin, keeping it as far from the mouth as possible, and using an internal antenna.

"It's difficult to reduce emissions of electromagnetic waves because doing so deteriorates voice quality," Kim said. "Therefore users need to be aware of the right ways to use mobile phones in order to minimize SAR."

Other studies have found that electromagnetic waves from mobile phones may affect people's health. A preventative medicine team led by Prof. Choi Jae-wook of Korea University surveyed 177 brain cancer patients admitted to the hospital in 2005. In 137 or 77.4 percent of the patients the cancer was located near the spot where the patient held their mobile phone.

"People who held their mobile phones to their right ears got cancer on the right side of the brain, and those who used the left ear got cancer on the left side of the brain," said Yoon Song-yi, one of the team's researchers. "It's too early to conclude that the way they used their mobile phones increased their risk of getting cancer. The final results will come by the end of the year."
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Source: Digital Chosun Ilbo, 05 Nov 2007

Koreans Again Link AM Radio to Childhood Leukemia
South Korea Created: 16 Jul 2007
RFI Tops Health in US Tower Siting Battle
When the residents of the Oak Hill Park community in the Boston suburb of Newton fought the expansion of a local 5kW AM station, WNUR, they complained about radiofrequency interference (RFI)—to their telephones, stereos, VCRs, wheelchairs and baby monitors. They also objected to the possible effects on local wildlife, particularly to the blue-spotted salamander. And they worried about the visual blight posed by the towers.

What community activists hardly mentioned were the possible impacts on their health.

Bob Sklar, who has a doctorate in molecular biology, was one of the few exceptions. Even with WNUR's power at 5 kW, he and his family had trouble sleeping and suffered from severe headaches. Fighting the plan to increase the total AM power output to up to 150kW, Sklar warned that the proposed higher power levels "will produce serious health effects in the area."

When asked by Microwave News why the others had left the health issue on the back burner, Sklar replied, "We were told it's not a winning issue. The consensus was to not raise it."

That may now change.

In the largest and most detailed study of AM radio radiation to date, a team led by Mina Ha of South Korea's Dankook University in South Korea has found that children living within 2km of an AM transmitter had more than twice the risk of developing leukemia, compared to those living more than 20km away. The study, which included 36 cases of children with leukemia living within 2km of an AM station, will appear in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology and is already available on the journal's Web site.

"The results of this study suggest a possible carcinogenic effect of AM RF [radiation] exposure on children, particularly with regard to lymphocytic leukemia," Ha concludes. This is Ha's third epidemiological study of cancer in the vicinity of AM radio stations. The other two, published in 2003 and 2004, also pointed to a cancer risk. (See also MWN, S/O02, p.16.)

Ha told Microwave News that while the observed risk was significant, she would like to see it replicated in another study. Ha's study included 31 AM stations operating at 20kW or more.

Five years ago, a group of Italian researchers headed by Paola Michelozzi found higher rates of childhood leukemia around the Radio Vatican transmitters in Cesano outside Rome (see MWN, M/A01, p.6; S/O01 p.9; M/J02 p.4; J/A02 p.14). Radio Vatican operates at a number of different frequencies, in both the AM and shortwave (4-21MHz) bands.

When Ha compared cases and controls relative to estimated RF exposures, she found that the risk was significantly higher for those in the second and third exposure quartiles, but not in the 25% most exposed children. Nevertheless there was a trend of increased risk of lymphocytic leukemia with increased RF exposure, which was of borderline significance. (There was no parallel trend with distance from a transmitter.)

Regarding the lack of an association among those who are most exposed to RF, Ha suggested that it might be due to "decreasing statistical power" or to a "bystander effect."

Ha estimates that the electric field at 2km from the AM transmitters ranged from 1V/m to 3V/m —approximately 0.26µW/cm2 to 2.4µW/cm2.

Oak Hill Park Is Within 2Km of AM Tower

The entire Oak Hill Park community in Newton, outside Boston, lies within 2 km of WNUR's 5kW transmitter. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 people live there.

About 45 of the homes in the neighborhood are exposed to RF levels of 6.1 V/m (10µW/cm2) or more, with some 400 homes above 1.9V/m (1µW/cm2), according to an analysis by Richard Temkin, a research physicist at MIT and, like Sklar, a former long-time resident of Oak Hill Park. Temkin estimated that if the power output were to be increased to 150kW, thousands of homes in Newton would be exposed to 1.9V/m or more.

Temkin's case against the power upgrade was based almost exclusively on RFI. He was one of those who argued against basing the community's appeal on health concerns, according to Sklar. Temkin did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.

The power output of the AM broadcasts in Newton will soon jump from 5kW to 95kW, and possibly even higher. Yet, even at 5kW, Oak Hill residents could hear music from the radio station coming from all sorts of electronic equipment as well as water pipes, heaters and toilets. "We're all fearful that all the interference problems will increase exponentially," one resident told the Boston Globe in the fall of 2005, after a court ruled that the plan to upgrade the AM station could move forward.

In an August 17, 2005 decision, Charles Trombly Jr of the Massachusetts Land Court had ruled against all the objections raised by the town of Newton on the basis that the FCC has the "sole power" to regulate radio stations and any RFI. A month earlier the town aldermen had voted unanimously to deny the three broadcasterrs a permit to expand.

While the residents hardly raised the health issue, the radio stations brought in two consulting firms that help corporations mired in EMF and RF health disputes: Gradient Corp and Exponent. A report prepared by Gradient's Peter Valberg concluded that "careful review of the whole body of literature… have [sic] not identified reasons to believe that the current RF safety standards are not protective of public health." Exponent's Linda Erdreich also prepared a report that sought to reassure the town that there was little to worry about.

Valberg did his own RF measurements. He found that the RF levels were somewhat higher than those estimated by Temkin. Valberg's highest reading was 13.7V/m (50µW/cm2) with average readings in Oak Park of 3.8V/m (3.8µW/cm2) during the night and 4.9V/m (6.4µW/cm2) during the day. Jim Hatfield of Hatfield and Dawson, a consulting firm in Seattle, also did an RF survey for the three AM stations [Hatfield's report is appended to Valberg's report].

(For comparison, the FCC and the IEEE/ANSI exposure standards for AM frequencies are both 614V/m (100,000µW/cm2). The ICNIRP standard is 87V/m (2,007µW/cm2).

Valberg and Exponent's Bill Bailey are currenly involved in establishing siting policy for power lines in Connecticut (see our January 19, 2007 story).

Osepchuk Sides with the Residents

One ironic aspect of the Newton battle is that John Osepchuk, one of the chief architects of the IEEE/ANSI standard, argued against the AM upgrade, while the Silent Spring Institute, a local environmental group, offered no help, telling Bob Sklar that its focus was on chemical pollutants.

"Even at 5kW, you can hear sounds from baseboard heaters," Osepchuk told Microwave News. He stressed that the problem is not the ambient fields but the current in the wires and pipes. "The shocks and burns are annoying and people should not have to put up with them." In 1995, after spending most of his career at Raytheon, Osepchuk opened his own firm, Full Spectrum Consulting in Concord, MA.

Osepchuk expressed dismay at the FCC's refusal to address the side effects of AM radiation, such as the "tingles and sound generation" —pointing out that the commission had deferred setting limits on contacts and induced currents. But Osepchuk reserved the greatest contempt for the judge's decision overruling Newton's decision not to grant the AM stations a permit. "The judge says that those who are 'aggrieved' by his decision can always complain to the FCC —is he kidding?"

* * * * *

Spokane AM Station Moved After Parents Raised Health Concerns

In Spokane, WA, parents succeeded in moving KGA's 50kW AM radio tramsmitter away from the Mullan Road Elementary School next door—but only after a more than decade-long battle over possible health impacts.

The towers came down in August 1997; the parents had raised concerns as early as May 1985. The families were put on the alert after the Washington Post published a list of more than 200 radio stations across the country, including some in Spokane, which might cause excessive radiation exposure (see MWN, My85). Even earlier, when the school was being built in the late 1970s, workers complained of getting electrical shocks from the KGA tower radiation. The school later installed electrical grounding to the roof to mitigate this problem.

In 1987, an EPA-FCC team, which included then EPA's Ed Mantiply and FCC's Bob Cleveland, measured an electric field of 13.9V/m (51.2µW/cm2 at the front door of the school —an exceptionally high reading for a publicly accessible area, though well within the current FCC exposure standard (see report No.EPA/520/6-88/008).

(Mantiply is now with the FCC's RF safety program; Cleveland retired from the FCC earlier this year.)

In 1986, KGA was sued by the family of Janice DiLuzio, who had died in 1982 of multiple myeloma. The DiLuzios had moved to a house approximately 600 feet from KGA's 50kW transmitter in 1972. The wrongful death suit was settled out of court and the details of the settlement were kept confidential (see MWN, S/O86 and S/O89).

* * * * *

AM Radiation Levels in the U.S.

It's been a long time since the EPA or the FCC surveyed the RF radiation levels in the vicinity of AM radio stations.

In 1991, Ed Mantiply and Bob Cleveland measured the electric and magnetic fields at distances of up to 100m from eight AM broadcast stations. According to their report, the electric fields 2m from the base of a 50kW transmitter was 491V/m (63,947µW/cm2). At a distance of 100m, the electric field was on the order of 20-30V/m (106-238µW/cm2).

Back in mid-1970s, the EPA surveyed the RF levels at 193 sites in seven U.S. cities (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC). The highest reading in the 0-2MHz band was 1.9V/m (0.94µW/cm2) on Bird Drive Park in Miami. (See report No.EPA-520/2-77-008, May 1978.) FCC's Mantiply was also a member of that EPA measurement team, as was Norb Hankin, who today still works in the EPA's Washington office.

There are approximately 4,800 AM stations in the U.S., operating in the 520kHz to 1.6MHz frequency band. Their maximum power authorized power is 50kW. European transmitters can use higher power levels.

Some Korean AM stations operate at much higher power levels than those in the U.S. Mina Ha's study included four at 1,000kW and one at 1,500kW. The original purpose of the 1,500kW station was to broadcast political messages over the DMZ into North Korea, Ha said.
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 13 Jul 2007

"3G was a failure," says Kim Ki-ho, Samsung's senior vice president for telecommunications networks.
South Korea Created: 5 Sep 2006
Mobile companies develop new, faster 4G technology.

CHEJU, South Korea (Reuters) - Global mobile operators and device makers are betting that the next level of transmission technology will ramp up mobile phone usage in a way that third-generation technology has so far failed to do.
So-called fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology, now being developed, would allow two-way communication in voice, video and data on a scale that was previously impossible, companies said at a Samsung 4G Forum mobile conference.
4G would allow mobile users on the go to enjoy services that they can now get through personal computers with high-speed broadband connections.
"4G is to deliver high-speed broadband for data- and visual- centric information. Everything before 4G is voice-centric," said Ali Tabassi, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S.N: Quote, Profile, Research) vice president for innovative technology.
Operators have spent billions of dollars to speed up their mobile networks to offer video, photos, Internet access and other services, which they hope will boost revenues and make up for the lackluster growth of voice calls.
But growth in usage of third-generation (3G) services has been slower than expected.
3G technology, which allows video calls and wireless Internet access, has yet to become widespread and has caused concerns that it may not generate enough profit to justify the amount spent to build the networks.

"3G was a failure," said Kim Ki-ho, Samsung's senior vice president for telecommunications networks. "The market did not respond, and it is already becoming an old-fashioned technology."
Others disagree. Kristin Rinne, chief technology officer for Cingular Wireless, said: "We're just beginning to hit that exponential curve in terms of data usage (in 3G).
"We're going to have to demonstrate we can deliver those products and services to customers. If that doesn't happen, there isn't a need for 4G," Rinne told Reuters.
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. (9437.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) is among a handful of operators that have seen some success with 3G. Users of its 3G service known as FOMA amount to more than 50 percent of its total subscribers.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) defines 4G as a wireless technology that transfers data at 100 megabits per second while the user is moving and 1 gigabit per second when stationary.
At the highest speed, users can download a movie in 5.6 seconds and send 100 songs in 2.4 seconds, according to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research), which presented a 4G service demonstration at the forum.
The spectrum for 4G service will be allocated at a global conference in October next year, and the commercial roll-out is expected after standard-setting around 2010.
"After 2010, 4G will become the mobile service that embraces everything," Lee Ki-tae, president of Samsung's telecommunication networks business, told reporters.

"3G was too much technology-driven," said Hong Won-pyo, executive vice president for South Korea-based KT Corp.'s (030200.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) mobile Internet business. "From now on, we need to see demand from users grow together (with technology)."
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Source: REUTERS, Rhee So-eui, Sep 3, 2006

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