By Dongmyun Lee — Chief Technology Officer, KT
Today we are witnessing the start of an unprecedented smart revolution driven by the latest advanced digital and mobile technology: 5G.
5G promises to deliver higher data rates, lower latency, and more reliable connectivity. In a sense, these improvements are already happening, at a slow, but steady pace, through existing technologies and services, such as fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE), fixed-broadband service, WiFi, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT).
Once 5G technology is commercialized, however, these new applications will come in much greater variety, with enhanced precision — and the speed of change will be much faster.
5G technology is forecasted to provide 100 times faster data speeds than the current 4G LTE technology. It is also expected to enable network connectivity with ultra-low latency equal to less than one-tenth that of present communication systems. It will also make massive connectivity possible, so that hundreds of thousands of devices can be connected to a cell simultaneously.
At the same time, 5G capabilities will be integrated with the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), big data and IoT, thereby leading the conventional industry and society into the automated and intelligent world.
5G will enable the mobile communication industry to broaden the scope of applications to include important enhancements to physical infrastructure such as roads, harbours, and transportation systems. Indeed, 5G will propel tomorrow’s digital economy, and information and communication technology (ICT) providers will play a central role.
KT’s 5G at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
KT aims to be a leader in 5G, and has a clear, substantial, and concrete management agenda called “GiGAtopia”, which is currently in the development and deployment stages. For example, our GiGA Internet, based on the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU–T) G series Recommendations, and GiGA LTE, based on the ITU–T Y series, are already being provided to more than 2 million subscribers. KT is moving ever closer to the 5G era through an accumulation of experiences and capabilities on infrastructure and services.
Based on these experiences and capabilities, KT’s CEO announced during his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress this year that the launch of 5G commercial services would take place in 2019. He also promised that KT would show how 5G will change the world at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018.
To this end, KT has been devoting a lot of time and effort to developing new devices and services, as well as network systems, to showcase a variety of 5G applications at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games. Immersive media applications like “Omni-View” and “Sync-View” are a few examples of these services, which will enable a new sports viewing experience, as well as 5G autonomous vehicles. KT’s 5G display at the Olympics will aim to show people all over the world how to experience the changes that 5G and ICTs will bring about in the near future.
The power of networks for converging industries
KT is not only preparing for the 5G era with telecommunication services, it is also actively striving to converge other industries, such as energy, automobile, agriculture, medical, etc. For example, KT is providing the “KT-MEG” (Micro Energy Grid) service, which remotely manages tens of thousands of customers’ energy usage, automatically, with a communication network. Usage prediction based on big-data analysis, can, for instance, improve power plant productivity. KT has also developed applications in other areas — from automobile insurance rates to avian influenza prevention, and many more.
What is crucial for the 5G revolution?
Realizing those future experiences in an increasingly interconnected world will, of course, require a higher level of stability, security, and reliability. There are also a number of technical and regulatory issues that need to be solved to overcome threats such as hacking, system fault management, and high costs due to complex operations. In order to make this new industrial revolution happen, based on 5G technologies, these obstacles need to be removed. We share a general belief that such problems will be overcome. Human beings have in the past always found solutions through creative ideas and cooperation. Indeed, creative ideas will play the most crucial role in making 5G a highly important platform for societal changes and a new digital economy.
By Dongmyun Lee
Chief Technology Officer, KT, Republic of Korea