5G technologies

Korea Telecom will develop a handheld system on a chip (SoC) by the second quarter of next year, in a move intended to take a lead in the fifth-generation (5G) network era.

“The SoC is the key to realizing the 5G era and developing devices for the next-generation network platform,” Oh Seong-mok, KT’s network division executive vice president, said during a press conference at the firm’s headquarters in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

“We plan to develop the handheld 5G-enabling chip for faster and stabler data transmission before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.”

South Korea’s dominant fixed-line operator showcased its major 5G technologies and devices such as 360-degree virtual reality (VR), a hologram live streaming display and a safety drone.

This came as mobile carriers here have identified 5G, which is expected to be commercialized by 2020, as their next growth area amid surging demand for mobile data usage.

SK Telecom, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, recently said it will demonstrate the 20 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) data transfer speed at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. 5G is expected to generate speeds up to 20 Gbps, 20 times faster than the existing 4G long-term-evolution (LTE) network.

The KT executive dispelled worries over potential threats from its competitors by saying, “Our 5G network system can also generate 20 Gbps speed, but more important is how to align the speed with other services,” he said.

KT said it will be the world’s first in what it calls the “Olympics Triangle” ― referring to the upcoming three-fold international sporting event held in Asian countries, including Korea, Japan and China.

Oh Sang-jin, IT division chief of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games (POCOG), said, “Korea will hold the world’s first 5G trial service at the upcoming Olympics, and this will be commercialized at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

He added, “And the Beijing Winter Games in 2022 will be a venue to showcase advanced 5G technologies.”

5G services at PyeongChang Winter Games

KT unveiled its 5G technologies and devices to be used at the upcoming sporting event.

The Sync View service enables spectators to enjoy 3D experiences from athletes’ viewpoints, the company said.

“The service can be realized via Active Antenna 5G-based technology, which transmits high-definition images to viewers in real time,” said the KT executive.

The company also said it has teamed up with Samsung Electronics to develop the 360-degree VR head-mount display. The device, which uses millimeter wave technology, will allow viewers to feel as if they were in the stadium, KT said.

Hologram Live uses millimeter wave technology to project athletes on a monitor.

“This technology still requires more technical development,” he said. “Once it is realized perfectly, viewers can watch athletes interviewed after matches in 3D through the hologram monitor.”

The company also stressed the upcoming event will ensure improved safety conditions with drones.

“The 5G safety drones will be used to detect intruders during the Olympics event,” said the KT executive. “We will set up CCTV all around the stadium. When suspicious signs are detected, we will dispatch the drones, equipped with facial recognition, and they will transmit images back to the control center in real time.”

The PyeongChang Winter Games’ organizing committee previously announced it will turn the upcoming event into the world’s largest-ever information and communication technology (ICT) event, using more than 13,000 personal computers and 16,000 mobile devices.

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