SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- KT Corporation (KRX: 030200; NYSE: KT), South Korea's largest telecommunications company, is preparing for the world's first full-scale commercialization of 5G in March, accelerating the company's global technology leadership.
The Korean telecom leader is demonstrating its latest 5G technology and services, from AI robots to a flying rescue system, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, held this week in Barcelona, Spain. KT's slogan at MWC is "Now a Reality, KT 5G and the Next Intelligent Platform."
During a keynote speech at MWC, KT Chairman and CEO Hwang Chang-Gyu said 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 Chairman Hwang, who is now often referred to as "Mr. 5G" for his passion and dedication to launching the next-generation wireless. "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."
Mr. 5G was the first to mention the future of 5G back at MWC 2015, where he spoke about a commercial 5G network by 2019. "Today, I would like to announce that the promise I made four years ago has finally been fulfilled," he said during the speech at MWC 2019.
World's First 5G Trial Services at PyeongChang Olympics
KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, showcased the world's 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 key 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. Korea's leading telecom 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.
A commercial 5G network in South Korea is expected to create at least 30.3 trillion won in socioeconomic value in 2025, 1.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), according to a report released last year by the KT Economic and Management Research Institute). The report forecasts that number will increase to at least 47.8 trillion won, 2.1 percent of GDP, in 2030.
KT and Nokia Agree to Collaborate on 5G Future
As the global leader in 5G, KT is actively seeking to expand collaborations with innovative 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.
"We are excited to partner with Nokia to conduct these path-breaking trials," said KT Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Jeon Hong-Beom. "This collaboration will ensure that we are able to leverage Nokia's proven solutions and best-in-class professional services to provide a superior and differentiated experience to our subscribers."
Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software, said, "With Korea, one of the lead countries in the early deployment of 5G, we are delighted to be working with KT to help them build a future-ready network. Nokia's end-to-end portfolio will empower KT to improve its customer experience and network efficiency."
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.
5G Robots, Skyship, VR, Remote Cockpit Showcased at KT's Booth
At MWC's Innovation City exhibition zone, KT is presenting its latest 5G innovations and services from AI-powered robots to a flying emergency rescue system, offering visitors a chance to see how the next generation of wireless network will transform their lives both today and in the future.
"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.
A customer orders coffee through KT's 5G-powered AI barista machine, b;eat 2nd Evolution (b;eat2E), which uses a robot arm that autonomously provides 47 tailored drinks. In partnership with Dal.Komm Coffee, Korea's first robot cafe operator, the new 5G cafe can offer faster service than it could with wired internet service.
These are some of many future services visitors can watch and experience at KT's state-of-art exhibition booth at this year's annual MWC, where some 25,000 global companies gathered to present technologies powered the 5G network. The SKYSHIP platform, an emergency rescue system, is demonstrated to connect Korea's port city of Busan to Spain's Barcelona.
Utilizing 5G's super-fast, ultra-low latency and massive connectivity, 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. New 5G smartphones will enable "True mobile live communication" through one-person broadcasting and cloud-based games, KT's Hwang said during his speech at MWC 2019.
KT to Open More AI Hotel in South Korea with Accor, Hyatt, Marriott
Pioneering a new era in the hospitality industry with its innovative AI technology, 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 world's 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. For example, guests can say, "Genie, please set the room temperature to 20 degrees."
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.
KT Wins 3 GLOMO Awards at MWC19 for Sales and Customer Service
KT is receiving worldwide recognition for its achievements developing the 5G network and information and communications technology (ICT) sector, having won many international awards over the past years.
The company just this week won the Best Mobile Innovation for Payment and Fintech with Genie Pay, the world's first AI-powered, voice-certified payment service, and the Best Network Software Breakthrough, with its Integrated Orchestrator Platform, a core 5G technology for network slicing, during the Global Mobile Awards (GLOMOS) 2019 at MWC.
The GLOMOS showcases companies and individuals that are driving innovation in the rapidly evolving mobile industry.
For its excellent sales and customer service, KT also received four 2019 Stevie Awards from the American Business Association on February 25. It is the third consecutive year the company has been honored in four categories.
The awards included three Bronze awards for the Contact Center Solution (New), the IVR or Web Service Solution (New Version), the Best Use of Technology in Customer Service (Telecommunication Industries), and the Customer Service Team of the Year (Recovery Situation, All Other Industries).
The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service recognizes the achievements of the contact center, customer service, business development and sales professional worldwide.
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SOURCE KT Corp.