KT Corporation, South Korea's largest telecommunications company, is preparing for the world's first full-scale commercialization of 5G in March.
The Korean company is demonstrating its latest 5G technology and services, from AI robots to a flying rescue system, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, under the slogan "Now a Reality, KT 5G and the Next Intelligent Platform."
that the new 5G era will transform the world into a better place for everyone. The next mobile revolution will benefit and create more businesses and enterprises, and it will also elevate the user experience to a new level of maximum versatility and immersion, he said.
"In March, KT will be the first in the world to introduce 'True' 5G mobile services," said KT Chairman and CEO Hwang Chang-Gyu. "In the 5G era, neckband cameras, AR glasses and all kinds of devices will be connected to 5G, contributing to a better life for mankind."
KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, showcased the first 5G trial services at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in February last year. The company's plan for the trial services, such as 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR) live steaming, was later approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as an international standard.
After launching the full-scale commercial 5G network, KT plans to focus on five areas, including smart cities, smart factories, connected cars, 5G media and the 5G cloud. It is collaborating with various companies and the Korean government to develop 5G services for both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G) industries.
KT deployed the first phase of its 5G network in late November 2018. The new service has been launched in the greater Seoul metropolitan area, in the country's most populated, major metropolitan cities outside the capital city and in isolated areas including Jeju, Ulleung and Dok islands. The company plans to expand its nationwide 5G network to 24 major cities, key transport routes such as expressways, subways, high-speed railways, large universities and neighborhood shopping areas.
KT is actively seeking to expand collaborations with ICT companies around the world. Its 5G Open Lab (https://5GOpenLab.com), a collaborative testbed, has already attracted major local and global corporate partners, including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Mobis, Posco, Intel, Ericsson and Nvidia. KT plans to forge 1,000 partnerships by 2020. It also has signed agreements with Cisco, Intel and Qualcomm to cooperate in preparing commercial 5G services.
On the sidelines of MWC 2019, KT and Nokia on February 24 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on various 5G technologies, including NFC and network slicing, in order to develop new applications and business models for the operator's enterprise customers. The joint work, which will take place in Seoul later this year, includes Service Orchestration and Assurance for the 5G era, with the aim of delivering end-to-end automation and new revenue opportunities.
KT has also partnered with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to upgrade fixed-line and mobile networks in Saudi Arabia and collaborate on next-generation telecom services. The Korean telecom company plans on exporting its ICT-based services such as GiGA Wire high-speed internet service, GiGAeyes visual security service, 5G services, VR & AR, as well as its big data services to the Middle East.
KT is also presenting its latest 5G services from AI-powered robots to a flying emergency rescue system.
"Hey Genie, bring me a bottle of Water," says a guest interacting with KT's AI-supported voice assistant device for hotel room. Soon after, an autonomous butler robot makes its way to deliver the water to the room's doorstep.
The SKYSHIP platform, an emergency rescue system, is demonstrated to connect Korea's port city of Busan to Spain's Barcelona.
The Korean telecom company is also showcasing the new era of autonomous driving like the 5G Remote Cockpit system and immersive media services such as holograms, AR, and VR-based content.
KT opened the first AI hotel in South Korea, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences. The company plans to open three more similar hotels across the capital city of Seoul by 2020 in partnership with major global hotel chains such as Accor, Hyatt and Marriott.
The new AI service platform -- named GiGA Genie Hotel -- is a customization of GiGA Genie, the first AI-powered smart home media hub developed by KT in 2017. As a multi-functional, voice-recognizing infotainment system, users can command the hotel rooms' lights, temperature controls and TV with voice.
Boasting more than 1.4 million subscribers in South Korea as of January this year, KT's voice-activated AI platform allows users to see what they command on touch screen devices or UHD TV screens in various languages, mainly Korean and English. Additional languages, including Chinese and Japanese, will be added to attract more international users.