SK Telecom has become the latest operator to launch Joyn and one of the first that plans to charge customers to use some of its features. The operator announced last week that the service, which it is calling joyn.T, will be free to use for those who take out one of its flat-rate 3G or LTE contracts between now and the end of May.

Customers who sign up after then will have to pay certain fees according to their price plan.

For example, one of Joyn's marquee features, video-sharing, will cost 0.33 Korean won per second on a flat-rate tariff and 0.6 won on a usage-based tariff, meaning five minutes of video-sharing will cost 99 won ($0.9), or 180 won ($0.17) depending on the type of contract. Messages will be charged at 20 won ($0.01) per message, while file-sharing will be accounted for on the customer's data allowance.
These fees may well be very low; nevertheless, SK Telecom's strategy is markedly different from other operators that have launched Joyn, such as Telefonica in Spain and Deutsche Telekom in Germany, which offer it at no extra charge in a bid to tempt their customers away from alternative over-the-top (OTT) services.

Going forward, SK Telecom plans to add new, albeit unspecified features to joyn.T, which will be launched under the name joyn.T 2.0 later in 2013. The company said it will also launch a joyn.T client for PCs this year. "We plan to add more features to shape joyn.T into an attractive communication channel that can be enjoyed by customers irrespective of their carrier or device," said Wi Eui-Seok, SVP and head of product planning at SK Telecom.

SK Telecom's deployment of Joyn – the consumer-facing brand of the GSMA's Rich Communication Suite (RCS) – comes nearly six months after it rolled out high-definition voice over LTE (VoLTE). At the time, SK Telecom talked up the potential of linking the two services.