SK Telecom (SKT), one of Korea's leading telcos, has announced that it plans to enter film investment and distribution next year at the earliest.

The company has already invested in production/talent management company iHQ and The Host producer Chungeorahm, which recently announced that it is restarting distribution.

This development has Korean filmmakers looking at the possibility of a new investor/distributor with deep pockets that could contend with the 'big three' - CJ Entertainment, Showbox Mediaplex and Lotte Entertainment.

SKT has not decided on the scale of the venture, but says the new business would not include going into production itself. The company has not ruled out buying foreign films, but says the focus rests on local content for mobile distribution.

The telco is already providing services in Vietnam and Mongolia, and has plans to launch into China and the rest of Asia. The rationale behind this strategy is that Korean Wave content, popular in these regions, would provide the company with a competitive edge.